Principal of the Anchovy High school in St. James, Lavern Stewart, is calling for increased vigilance by Jamaicans to protect children from all forms of abuse.
Speaking with Jamaica Government news agency JIS, Ms. Stewart said that the time has come for parents, guardians and members of communities to join together to tackle the issue.
“To persons who have an inclination or who have abused a child in one way or the other, I am asking those persons to really stop. Children are so precious. The Bible tells us that they are a heritage, and we just never know what a child may become and some form of abuse one way or the other can prevent a child from really living out their dreams,” she noted.
“We are to protect them and not to take advantage of them. As teachers, we recognise that school is really an oasis for many children. At school, we take care of them, we love them, we show appreciation for them while they are here, and I want all adults to do the same thing to the children that are in the communities,” Ms. Stewart stressed.
The Principal noted that children “are our future” and should be given the support they need to thrive and excel.
She encouraged persons who suspect that a child is being abused to report the matter to the police.
She told JIS News that the administration at the Anchovy High School, through the Guidance and Counselling Department, continues to help students cope with the changes caused by the pandemic.
“This is a school that deeply cares for our children and we will continue to go the extra mile to ensure that our students have that sense of love and belonging that children need,” she said.