More classes suspended at Westmoreland schools

September 12, 2023
From Albert Ferguson

Classes at a handful of Westmoreland-based schools have been suspended for a second day in a row, as taxi operators across the parish continue to withdraw their services in protest. 

They say they are protesting the government's failure to repair the main route from Grange Hill to Savanna-la-Mar.

All entry and exit points leading into Grange Hill, Little London, and Lucea in Hanover have been blocked by the operators, leaving many students are other commuters stranded. 

As a result, administrators at the Grange Hill High School, Grange Hill Primary School, and the Frome Technical High School were compelled to dismiss classes early.

"Classes have been cancelled for today because the main thoroughfares used to transport our students to school are all closed. The roads are closed from Little London to Savanna La Mar, and the route from Lucea to Grange Hill is also closed," said Trevine Donaldson-Lawrence, principal of Grange Hill High School.

She told The STAR that only 200 of the anticipated 1,000 student cohort had arrived at school this morning.

The ongoing taxi operators protest has also disrupted normal operations at the Grange Hill Primary School, forcing them to dismiss classes early.

Principal Clayton Smith says the effect on student attendance has been minimal since they reside in the community, but his academic staff that are being prohibited from attending school.

"For their safety, we will be dismissing school after lunch,” Smith told The STAR. "My teachers have been the most affected because the majority of them are from outside the community."

After dismissing classes early yesterday as a result of the strike action taken by taxi operators over the poor condition of the roadway, Frome Technical High School was compelled to halt sessions for the rest of Tuesday and send students home early.

- Albert Ferguson

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