Students boarding a school bus.
PHILIPSBURG--The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (ECYS) is implementing new school busing measures to help reduce the increasing number of school fights. Caretaker Minister Wycliffe Smith announced in Wednesday’s press briefing that the Police Force of St. Maarten KPSM has reported that there has been an increase in the number of school fights. As a result, the Department of Education met with public and subsidised secondary schools to discuss measures that would help to reduce the increase in fights and violence around the schools. Further insight was gained into possible solutions to combat school fights and the ECYS Ministry initiated follow-up meetings with the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT), the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (VROMI) and the Ministry of Justice for assistance and further planning. Smith announced that one of the immediate measures to be introduced is to request that the school buses drop off and pick up students only at their respective schools. “Schools will be asked to keep the students on the school grounds at the end of the school day until the buses arrive,” he said. “This avoids students leaving their school and ending up at another school in the neighbourhood where they may get into trouble or cause trouble.” This new measure will also require the school buses be at the schools in a timely manner. Smith concluded by urging the community to get involved by talking to their children, family and friends about the dangers of getting involved in school fights and to share strategies with youngsters that they can use to diffuse/address conflicts with their peers in a positive manner.