The time has come for a national survey to be conducted in private and public schools to determine the full extent of violence at those institutions.

Noting that violence was ???creeping??? back into the school system, Director of the National Task Force on Crime Prevention, Cheryl Willoughby, made it clear that there was a growing need to obtain scientific facts in order to deal with the growing problem.

Speaking during a Girl???s Talk Workshop at the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity???s Harbour Road, St. Michael training room, Ms. Willoughby said the survey would seek to highlight the profiles of the victims and perpetrators and the contributing factors to the violent behaviour.

In addition, she added, it would also allow those affected, both the victims and perpetrators, to get the necessary help.??However, she said that the more power that was removed from principals, teachers and schools to administer discipline, the more children believed they had the ultimate power in the school system.

???I believe children have rights, however, I also believe parents, teachers, and those with responsibility for those children also have rights.??They have the right to ensure that they know right from wrong and the consequences of their actions,??? she stated.

The Director said she received a ???tongue lashing??? two years ago for speaking out against the removal of corporal punishment in schools and again reiterated her point that it should continue to be enforced.?????We are blessed with all types of degrees, while our parents and grandparents did not benefit from formal education. But, they mastered the art of disciplining children and we have failed in that area,??? Ms. Willoughby charged.

Meanwhile, she called on teachers present to continue striving for excellence from their students, and not to settle for mediocrity. ??Today???s workshop was targeted at female students from secondary schools across Barbados and was held under the theme: Inspiring Change, to commemorate International Women???s Day, which will be celebrated tomorrow, March 8.

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