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Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade announced yesterday that a police liaison officer will be assigned to each government school when schools re-open in September.
Greenslade and other government officials, including the Director of the Immigration Department Jack Thompson, met with public school principals during a forum at SuperClubs Breezes Resort yesterday morning to discuss crime and immigration related issues affecting the public school system.
School violence has been a major concern in public schools, especially in New Providence, over the last few years. The Department of Education and police have had to respond to fights, stabbings and at least one homicide on or near New Providence public schools.
"I've assured principals that they are fully in control of their schools and we stand in full support of them," Greenslade said.
"But we will be more than happy to ensure that there's a school liaison officer assigned to every school in The Bahamas. We have sufficient officers to deal with that and they should be available at all times to the schools and any issues that needs to be pushed further up will be handled by our officers."
Greenslade's announcement came fours years after the Free National Movement (FNM) administration dismantled the school policing program left in place by the last Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration.
This program involved stationing police at public schools.
That initiative was replaced with a community policing approach through which officers are stationed outside schools during peak hours (7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.).
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and his government have held to the position that police officers do not belong in schools.
Director of Immigration Jack Thompson yesterday called on school principals to report unregularized students who register at their institutions, saying the Department of Immigration intends to "flush out" undocumented foreign nationals enrolled in the public school system.
Thompson, who was speaking at a forum for public school principals yesterday morning at SuperClubs Breezes, said The Bahamas can not afford to have illegal immigrants in the public school system "absorbing our resources."
"You should call me and tell me where they are living because I have to deal with them," Thompson told the principals.
"We have to hit at the root. The root is the parent. I am not in the business of sending the children home and not the parents or sending the parents and not sending the children. We have to send them together.
"All of them must go and they must go as soon as possible because we can't have people illegally residing and going to school and absorbing our resources. You know how the community feels about this. The communities are outraged."
He pointed out that the children who are not Bahamians should be in receipt of a permit to reside.
Thompson noted that the permit to reside card is similar to a Bahamian driver's license.
He said his department has to begin a dialogue with the Department of Education "so we can flush out and unclog the system because there is a lot of concern."
Thompson stressed that immigration officials will not target the undocumented children but will go after their parents and deal with both simultaneously.
Public school officials cannot refuse to register illegal immigrants, as according to Bahamian law, all children residing in The Bahamas have the right to an education.
"This is a balancing act, because while on one hand you can not deny education, by the same token we have a responsibility to crack down and to deal with this issue," Thompson said.
Children who are born to Bahamian women, whether married or single, have the automatic right to citizenship. Only in cases where a non-Bahamian woman is married to a Bahamian man is the child automatically granted citizenship.
Children born in The Bahamas to single women who are not residents of The Bahamas have a right to apply for citizenship when they turn 18.
Thompson said immigration officers never round up illegal immigrants at schools, hospitals or clinics and churches.
"That is a no, no," he said. "While we have a job to do, we have to do things the right way."
He said apprehension exercises will take place in the communities where they live.
While he had no official count, Thompson said there are "a number" of children attending school without proper documentation.
He said it is the department's policy to ask undocumented migrants to leave the country and apply to be regularized through the proper means.
"What we are challenged with now is, should we regularize someone while they are here in the country? Should we regularize someone after they have been here for five years?
"So we're often criticized when we send people back but if we start regularizing persons who are here to start with, then I'm not sure what message we are sending."
Director of Education Lionel Sands, who also attended the forum, told principals that they should work along with the Department of Immigration in its efforts.
Immigration Department Director Jack Thompson yesterday revised remarks he made Thursday on the issue of undocumented migrant children in the school system, emphasizing that his department does not intend to enter schools and remove children who do not have legal status to be in the country.
Thompson, who was speaking at a forum for public school principals Thursday morning at SuperClubs Breezes, said The Bahamas cannot afford to have illegal immigrants in the public school system.
"You should call me and tell me where they are living because I have to deal with them," Thompson told the principals on that occasion.
"We have to hit at the root. The root is the parent. I am not in the business of sending the children home and not the parents, or sending the parents and not sending the children. We have to send them together. "All of them must go and they must go as soon as possible because we can't have people illegally residing and going to school and absorbing our resources. You know how the community feels about this. The communities are outraged."
Yesterday, in a statement, Thompson emphasized a point he made at the event Thursday while backing away from some of his more aggressive remarks made at the education forum. He said his department will be humane as it carries out its duties.
"The director emphasized that as a matter of policy the church, schools and clinics were off limits for apprehension exercises," said Thompson's statement.
Thompson also stressed Thursday, while calling on educators to inform his department of undocumented students, that immigration officials would not target these children. Instead, he added, they would goafter their parents and deal with families simultaneously.
"Administrators were told that students of foreign nationals attending schools should apply to the Department of Immigration for a residency permit or permit to reside. It was emphasized that while students should not be denied the right of a basic education, records by the Department to Immigration are critical for future applications - i.e., permanent residence (and) citizenship," said Thompson yesterday.
The public school system in The Bahamas does not bar children from receiving an education if they have no legal status in the country.
Bahamas -- The graduation of 20 airport workers in terrorism screening
cted to strengthen aviation security
throughout the Family Islands.
The closing ceremony for the week-long
Excellence in Screening Techniques Course took place at SuperClubs Breezes
Resort, January 25, and was held in conjunction with the Department
of Civil Aviation, the Organisation of American States (OAS), the Inter-American
Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE), and the U.S. Transportation Security
TO celebrate 25 years as an IC, the Bahamas is expected to stage a six-day international IC team doubles competition for eight country teams January 9-15 at Breezes Superclubs.
The country IC's will compete for "The SG Private Banking" trophy, who is the main sponsor.
John Antonas, Neil MacTaggart, Kit Spencer, Mas and Sue Kimball, Dyphany Mortier, J Barrie Farrington, Edith Powell and Lesley Spencer are expected to compete for the Bahamas.
Kit Spencer, president of the Bahamas International tennis club (IC) thanked SG Private Banking and its president, Dominique LeFevre, for its sponsorship of the event.
"With the teams we have coming this is a truly international event for ...
The Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission (BADC) will be officially launched with a series of activities this week. Today, a supplement that provides a lot of details about the Commission and its objectives has been published in The Nassau Guardian and will accordingly be distributed throughout the country.
On Thursday, August 25, beginning at 1 p.m., the first of two workshops for doping control officers, trainees and chaperones will take place at SuperClubs Breezes. The official opening ceremony is planned for Thursday evening, beginning at 7 p.m. At this event Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard and Minister of Education Desmond Bannister are expected to be in attendance.
NASSAU, Bahamas - The
Bahamas hosted the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and
Quality (CROSQ) three-day 18th Council Meeting and Awareness Workshop,
which started at SuperClubs Breezes on Tuesday, April 12, 2011.
is the regional body charged with the responsibility to coordinate and
facilitate the establishment and harmonisation of standards for the
enhanced efficiency and improved quality in the production of goods and
services of the CARICOM Community, thereby facilitating consumer and
environmental protection and improved trade within the Community and
with third states...
Nassau, Bahamas - "On behalf of all
exhibitors, the organizers of the annual Bahamas Bridal Show wish to
thank every person and company for their efforts and contributions to
another successful event," said show executive producer Tommy Stubbs,
general manager at Buttons Bridal & Formal Wear which organizes the
annual event. "We are always pleased with the enthusiasm of the
hundreds of brides and grooms and the thousands of show followers who
make the bridal show the No.1 social event of the year."
Breezes took the spotlight during the trade exhibition as the
all-inclusive resort took up a large portion of the ballroom serving
sample Asian food for hours. Other notable exhibitors included the
British Colonial Hilton, Burns House, Arawak Homes, Colina Insurance,
Noveltease, Grand Bahama Development Co. Ltd., Template, Bahamas
Local.Com, Jewels by The Sea, Bristol Wines & Spirits and Bertha's
Go-Go Ribs Catering...
February 6, 2012 – Tired of the same old predictable concert experience year after year? Fresh Entertainment is keeping it fresh and exciting with a brand new face, a brand new venue, a brand new fresh experience.
For the first time, live in the Bahamas it’s Grammy award winning producer, songwriter and artist R. Kelly with “A Celebration of Love” Post Valentine’s Concert presented by Fresh Entertainment. On Saturday, February 23rd, 2013 the Seaside Pavilion at Arawak Cay will house an intimate musical journey with R. Kelly and be transformed in to an unforgettable, upscale Oasis. Doors open at pm, and the Show begins promptly at 9pm.
For a preview and detailed seatmap of the venue, view sections and purchase tickets now via www.freshentbah.com. Tickets start at. Box office locations commence sales on Friday, February, 2013.
Twenty proud security personnel representing 17 airports in 13 Family Islands received Train the Trainer certification at the closing ceremony of the five-day “Excellence in Screening Techniques Course,” held January 21-25 at the SuperClubs Breezes Resort.