Prime Minister Perry Christie
By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Perry Christie said yesterday he was “stunned” to learn of the stabbing death of a 16-year-old Doris Johnson Senior High School student as he suggested the country’s crime situation now requires not only a stronger police presence in schools but for the government to invest in ensuring campuses are outfitted with security equipment.
The day after the teenage boy was fatally attacked by other school students, Mr Christie said whatever the reason for the dispute, it should never have happened. The country, he said, now has yet another unnecessary death.
The prime minister said the Ministry of Education must now review and decide whether it should be more aggressive in ensuring students do not enter schools with weapons.
Mr Christie, who was visibly concerned as he described having seen videos of the incident on Facebook, likened the scene to “old days at the coliseum”.
He went on to extend his condolences to the victim’s family and also expressed regret to the relatives of those connected to the alleged attackers.
“It (could come down to stronger police presence),” Mr Christie said. “Or stronger police advice as to what should happen with respect to security in the schools. But whatever it takes, this ought not to happen because kids are grouping and standing around and watching a fight and taking video of a fight.
“Good God almighty, it’s like the old days at the coliseum.”
He spoke to The Tribune on the sidelines of the Ministry of Financial Services and Local Government’s Family Island Administrators Symposium at the Melià Nassau Beach Hotel.
Mr Christie said years ago when he advocated to have police officers in public schools, it was to avoid violence that could result in serious injury or death.
During Mr Christie’s first term in office, school policing had been one of his administration’s major crime fighting initiatives. However, it was discontinued when the Free National Movement took office but reinstated after the Progressive Liberal Party won the 2012 election.
“From our point of view, the educational system must review whether or not it must be more aggressive in ensuring that students do not come into the schools with weapons. That’s the least we can do. Looking at the weapon that was brandished on the videos that I saw, we must ensure that the students do not come into the school with any kind of threatening instrument.
“So therefore it looks like the only way that we are going to have to do that is to insist on those kinds of provisions that ought not to be in the schools. Whether it is screening equipment, whether is searching, but in a school environment we have every right to ensure that discipline is the order of the day. So I have no doubt that the Minister of Education (Jerome Fitzgerald) in association with the Royal Bahamas Police Force (would) do that.”
Shortly after 2pm on Wednesday at Prince Charles Drive, less than a mile from the school’s campus, 12th grader Adonai Wilson was stabbed multiple times during an argument with other students. He died a short time later in hospital.
A graphic video of the incident spread on social media shortly after the attack. The short video, shot on cell phone, shows several boys running towards the victim and attacking him. At one point in the video, one of the alleged assailants is seen wielding a large knife before plunging it into the victim several times while others held him as dozens of shocked students looked on.
This latest killing brought the country’s murder count to 139 for the year, according to The Tribune’s records.
Police have taken two teen boys into custody – a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old – for questioning over the incident.