Patience Hill Government students walk against violence

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A Patience Hill Government Primary School student holds a placard promoting peace, during a walk against violence on Wednesday morning. – Photo courtesy THA

PATIENCE Hill Government Primary School students and members of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) said “enough is enough,” as they walked against crime on Wednesday morning.

Holding signs promoting peace and urging against violence as a solution, they sought to send a strong message as they walked through the communities of Patience Hill and Signal Hill.

Starting at the school’s compound, participants shared different messages against violence in the forms of dance, drama and song.

In December 2023 and January 2024, the community was shaken by acts of violence, including murder, vandalism and bullying.

Patience Hill teacher Isabel Turner-Toby said, “We have decided that today we would take a stand as to what has been happening in Patience Hill during the last term. We are not pleased with what was happening. We have parents that have been murdered, several community members that have been murdered; we have break-ins, we have theft; we have damage and destruction to property. We felt that enough was enough and we needed to make a stand that we are totally against violence and any form of violence.”

Patience Hill Government Primary School students walk against violence through the communities of Patience Hill and Signal Hill on Wednesday morning. – Photo courtesy THA

Turner-Toby added, “As a school, we need to be safe – the children need to be safe, and if the community is not safe, by no means is the school safe.”

The school’s principal Francis Williamson-Coutain hailed the walk as positive.

“It is based on ending violence in the community and by extension Tobago. We need to make our voices heard because when things go on, if you don’t speak up, those in the wrong would continue doing the wrong. Those who want to do the wrong, once they know there is a voice against it, they will think twice.

“This is something positive as a school, involving the parents and the community, the stakeholders; we want everybody to be on board that this situation that is plaguing Tobago, that it would be curbed.”

Area representative Nigel Taitt commended the school for taking such stance.

“As a past student at this school, knowing the kinds of crime taking place in Patience Hill at this time, I personally want this criminality that is taking place right now in Tobago, and Trinidad by extension, I personally would like it to stop, I want it to come to an end, especially the gun violence.”

He said he is currently partnering with organisations within the community to educate their members in an effort to eliminate the violence.