Continued Stakeholder Engagement on Schools’ Safety and Security
Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION
Education Towers, No.5 St. Vincent Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad
Phone: 868-622-2181 www.moe.gov.tt
Continued Stakeholder Engagement on Schools' Safety and Security
The Ministry of Education is conscious of the concerns of the public as it pertains to school safety and security. Internationally, issues of gun violence have been making the headlines and it is understandable that within the Trinidad and Tobago context all persons would be interested in the safety and security of staff and students while on the school compound. The Ministry of Education has an existing Safety and Security Policy that is to be used to guide all schools in the management of their facility. The Ministry notes however, that in these dynamic times there must be room for review and discussion. As such, the Minister of Education has asked that all principals engage their Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) and wider school community to discuss the current security management systems at the schools and where the school stands. Understanding that every school community is different with differing needs the Minister is hoping that through the established School Based Management System, School Discipline Plan and the School Safety Protocol provided by the Ministry, the schools’ management teams can work together to foster best practice as it relates to safety and security at all schools.
While the position of the Ministry of Education is that schools must not be treated like prisons and therefore armed security should not be on duty on school compounds, Minister Garcia believes that there must be a conversation with stakeholders to ensure that the interests of all groups are addressed.
Minister Garcia stated “It is my intention within the coming week to meet with stakeholders that represent the interests of all factions of our school community. Students, teachers, parents, staff members and even the security officers must all be considered as we move forward.”
Minister Garcia assured that the instances of crime that have taken place over this week is not something that can be taken lightly. “While there are over five hundred schools in Trinidad and Tobago, it is this government’s view that an incident in one school is way more than we are comfortable with. I urge parents and school administrators to come together to assess their individual environments to ensure safety. The safety of our nation’s children is not only a government issue, it is everyone’s issue.”
Attached is the Protocol for Entry and Exit of All Schools.
PROTOCOL FOR ENTRY AND EXIT FOR SCHOOLS
(extracted from Guidelines for School Discipline Plan)
*Schools are required to review guidelines and incorporate into their School Discipline Plans.
Principals are responsible for controlling entry and exit points using the available security personnel.
Policy for visitors
- Visitors must present ID and state nature of visit
- Vehicular and Foot Log Entries (Staff and Visitors)
- Visitor pass issued
- Parking direction given
- Escort to the principal’s office
- Random searches of vehicles on exit (Staff and Visitors).
- Security must record details and assess demeanor of person.
- Dress code must be in effect.
- Must be escorted if possible to Principal's office. Otherwise, Principal must be informed
Policy for students
- Scan and search students and bags
- Signing of late book by students
- Students need to be monitored for drugs, weapons and other banned/zero tolerance items and adherence to school dress code.
v Exit protocols for students leaving before official end of the school day
- Parent/Legal Guardian receive official form from office signed and stamped by authorized school personnel
- Authorization received, signed and logged by security
- Signed Slip returned and placed on student’s file
School Safety Officers
MTS Security/Security Officer
High Risk Students
- Entry onto compound without parents-
- MTS/Security Officer escorts student to office.
- Safety Officers/Dean calls parents. if parents cannot be contacted, call community police to do so.
- Meantime, a MTS/Security Officer will be assigned to monitor the student until the arrival of parent/police.
School Safety Officers
- Patrols by P, VP, Deans, HODs, SSO, and MTS Security.
- Creation of a patrol roster –
a) During Roll Call and change to the first period
b) After Break Time
c) After Lunch Time
d) Last Period
- Identification of Hot-spot areas and times of increased frequency of undesired behavior
- Ensure the use of CCTV(where available) and human resource to monitor during Break Time and Lunch Time
- P/VP/SSO & MTS security/security officer do strategic walk through during Lunch and Break periods
|*P, VP, Deans, HODs, SSO,
and MTS Security/Security Officer
Released on 24th February, 2018