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After shooting at Cumaca RC, parents now blocked from entering school gates

In light of the shooting outside the Cumaca RC Primary School, the Minister of Education has advised that parents will no longer be allowed to enter the gates.

Instead, they will have to drop their children off outside the gate.

Carlon Patrick, of Sangre Grande, went to the Valencia school at around 8.05 am on Monday to drop off his son, when a gunman ran onto the school compound and shot him in his right arm.
The suspect then fled through a nearby cemetery. Some pupils and teachers witnessed the incident.

Responding to questions from the Opposition in the Senate yesterday, Gasdby-Dolly said the situation was “extremely regrettable” and “highly traumatic” for staff, pupils and teachers, particularly those who witnessed the shooting. She said the police responded within minutes and are investigating the circumstances that put pupils, teachers and staff at risk.

Gadsby-Dolly said although the school day ended early on Monday, the Ministry of Education dispatched personnel from its Student Support Services Division to counsel those who were present and Employee Assistance Programme representatives received an alert to do the same.

Gadsby-Dolly said 83 of the 195 pupils enrolled at the school showed up for classes yesterday, along with six of the seven teachers, four guidance officers and three school social workers. Two police officers also visited the school to ensure all was well.

In response to questions from Opposition Senator Wade Mark about measures being contemplated to deal with crime and violence at schools, Gadsby-Dolly recalled a time when schools did not have gates, security guards, walls or fences. Noting that no school is without those security measures, she said the Education Ministry was working with security companies to ensure there is a full complement of officers in schools at all times. 

“There are some schools over the years that, based on the circumstances, we had to increase the number of security guards at the school when we saw that school needed that particular level of attention and care, but there will always be the moment when something happens that you did not anticipate. For this reason, there are the guards, there are the fences,” she said.