|A little love from PNM leader Keith Rowley (Express Photo)|
The PNM leader was speaking at a political meeting in Palo Seco and used the opportunity to talk about strategies to deal with disruptive students who put others at risk.
"The time for talk and niceties has passed. If you cannot behave in the school system then you forfeit your right to be there. You have invited yourself into another system," he said. His comments were prompted by a brawl among girls at the Mucurapo West Secondary School that led to the suspension of 10 students.
"When is it supposed to end and how is it supposed to end?" he asked. He wondered if it would happen "when one of them bring a little knife or something in school, or a divider or something and the next thing we hear is murder number 110 is one child stab the other child because the system turned a blind eye to something that is chronic."
Rowley invoked the memory of the PNM's founding leader and told his audience they must not lose sight of the liberating influence of education, which he said is the strength of the country.
"The next PNM government will detail zero tolerance of violence in our secondary schools, zero tolerance of any violence in our school system, and that means we will have to prepare special educational facilities for special children," he said.
"Special children are not only the ones who don’t see well, who don’t hear well and who don’t walk well. Children who can’t behave well are also special children,” he said.