Warring Gangs’ Gunfire Forces Closure of Trinidad Primary School

Children at Rosehill Primary in Lavantille, Trinidad take cover under the desks of the classroom as gunfire was heard just outside. -Contributed
- Advertisement -

CNW-  The Rose Hill Roman Catholic Primary School in Laventille, Trinidad will remain closed for the rest of the week following the latest shooting incident between warring gangs on Monday.

In videos circulating on social media gunfire was heard echoing through the neighborhood as students and teachers hid under benches and chairs.

The Trinidad Guardian reports that the Education Ministry yesterday approved the temporary relocation of staff and pupils to St Dominic’s Children’s Home in Belmont.

Catholic Education Board of Management CEO Sharon Mangroo confirmed a building on the compound has been designated for use by the school and they are hoping to have the pupils back in school by Monday.

However, she warned: “While we are aiming for Monday, the reality may be different, as the limiting factors are transport for students and for the furniture etc. The former may take a while to arrange, as there are costs to be approved.”

Appealing for help yesterday, she said, “It is not safe. No teacher wants to go to school. They are too traumatized. We will need police presence on the day that the move takes place.”

She added, “The teachers are bravely trying to continue online schooling but attendance is less than 50 percent.”

While some parents have already withdrawn their children from the school and enrolled them elsewhere, officials yesterday said, “There are some that just cannot afford to.”

Rapid bursts of gunfire from warring gangs in Laventille, Morvant, and east Port-of-Spain have been referred to as a norm for those attending the school, which is located in Laventille.

In a bid to keep their charges safe, the almost daily occurrence has forced teachers to introduce a “drill” for pupils, which sees them crawling under desks and covering their heads, eyes and ears.

President of the T&T Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) Martin Lum Kin said while measures are initiated in the short term, it is a situational issue that must be dealt with, as there are other schools in hot spot areas that are experiencing similar type of issues.

- Advertisement -