Catholic archdiocese denies link between school fights and killing

National, Normal


THE Catholic archdiocese of Port Moresby yesterday claimed that the killing of a Grade 12 Jubilee Catholic Secondary School student last week had nothing to do with schools’ clashes.
In a media statement released yesterday, the archdiocese said while there had been issues regarding students’ behaviour towards each other, the tragic death of the student could not have had anything to do with interschool rivalries or clashes.
Police reported that the student was stabbed to death during a fight among students at Gordon last Friday.
Relatives yesterday refused to delve into the circumstances surrounding the killing until police have completed their investigations.
“How could the church say this; and what basis is it using to argue its point?” a relative posed the question last night.
However, the church maintained that “after consulting the school principals and other concerned parties, we believe the murder was not related to any inter-school rivalries or clashes”.
“It appears to have been the result of a separate and unrelated incident,” the statement read.
Archbishop John Ribat was saddened and shocked to hear of the tragic death of the student, saying “my prayers are with the family at this time of their loss”.
“It is a sad reflection on the state of our society when youths roam the streets armed with knives and so readily resort to violence,” he said in the statement.
NCD metropolitan commander Chief Supt Fred Yakasa said police had identified a suspect.
However, no arrests have been pending police investigations.
Meanwhile, the three schools on suspension – Jubilee Secondary, Don Bosco and De La Salle – will resume classes at the direction of their principals.
These schools’ administrators also reiterated the need to address the issue of violence in schools.
“Catholic schools are meant to be safe, caring and loving learning environments where students receive the best possible education based on Christian values,” the principals of the three schools said in the statement.
They said they had to work harder with their staff and students to stamp out the culture of violence that exists among students.
They said such attitudes were in direct contradiction to the principles of Catholic education.