BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -- POLICE have confirmed that they are probing reports that threats were made among several students of the Charlestown secondary School during an altercation on October 27.
This comes as reports had indicated that a gun was allegedly brandished during an altercation at the institution where threats were also made. But police said that no weapons were used or found during their search.
Resulting from this incident was a meeting among police, the management of and guidance counsellor at the Charlestown Secondary School, along with officials from the Social Services Department and Child Protection and Probation Services.
A follow up meeting was held that brought the students involved in the incident together to discuss the matter. They were accompanied by their parents and most parties were present.
“The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) strongly believes that schools should be violence-free spaces for our Federation’s young people. The Police Force has a well-established relationship with school administrations – for both public and private schools – to ensure these institutions continue to be safe and to assist with guiding students.
“We do so in several ways, for example, through the National Intervention Team and our School Liaison Officers. Any reports of violence at any school in the Federation is dealt with through our Special Victims Unit which handles all matters involving juveniles, in coordination with several other agencies. Incidents involving children can be very delicate and sometimes complicated, but must always be handled with a certain level of care and privacy,” the police said in a media statement.
In chastising reporters, the police force said that “the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force would like to make it clear that investigations so far indicate that none of the students had a firearm nor was a firearm found on the school’s premises”.
They called on media entities to “act responsibly by verifying these types of reports before publishing news items”.
The force noted that “failure to do so could exacerbate an already unfortunate situation”.
The media has, for a long time, been asked to be mindful in the way it covers children and matters involving children. Many regional and international institutions have longed been wary of the coverage being provided to children and have all issued guidelines and standards for such reporting.