Amid the all-too-frequent headlines of violence between students in Jamaican schools, one Kingston 20 high school is rapidly becoming inundated by internal gangs formed by upper-school boys that have ignited a dangerous powder keg in the Corporate Area institute.
The school’s name has not been made public, but according to reports from the Jamaica Observer, a source shared some of the many harrowing details faced by school administrators and lower-form students with the news outlet.
According to the source, several male students from the 10th and 11th grades have formed rival gangs within the school that are linked to their communities and have entered the school grounds armed with weapons such as knives, ice picks, choppers, and, according to one report, possibly a gun.
After becoming aware of the situation, searches were initiated among upper-school students, but the boys began using relatives and neighbours from the lower grades to smuggle in the weapons. To mitigate against this, administrators have increased their search to cover the entire student body, however, discovered that female students have also been hiding the weapons, concealing them in what the source described as, “strange places on their bodies.”
The report further states that during a recent standoff between two rival groups of boys outside the school gate, a gun was drawn, forcing one of the students to flee. There is some uncertainty about whether the armed boy is a student, as they have discovered that friends of the students have started wearing the uniform and entering the compound. As a result, the principal has since instructed the school’s guards to only permit entry to students with school IDs.
According to another source, the principal has spent hours scouring the school’s cameras and corridors, trying to prevent the situation from escalating. They have also expressed the growing fear felt by those at the school, as the students will not heed any members of the staff.
“We are worried about what next will happen. We have heard reports that they are using their weapons to slap each other to ‘print the maker’s name on the blade in their faces, but luckily it has not passed that yet,” the source disclosed.
The situation was also described as “an explosion waiting to happen” by the source who called for the intervention of the police and Ministry of Education as their meeting with parents had yielded no positive results.
“The parents of these problem boys don’t attend, and the few that do, don’t accept that their little ‘angels’ are gang members,” the source stated.
Previously well-behaved male students from grades seven to nine are reportedly now involved with the gangs. The report comes on the heels of the gruesome slaying of 16-year-old Michion Campbell of Kingston Technical High, who was allegedly stabbed to death by her 17-year-old fellow student on the school grounds.