Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS):  William Vincent Hodge, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, is urging parents/guardians to take extra precautions when it comes to their children by monitoring them closely, as it is a parent's responsibility to protect their children.

PS Hodge was at the time addressing the press on Monday, May 22, with the aim of making sure that the general public does not lose interest in finding Leanna Napoleon, (a 17 year old fifth form student of the Basseterre High School (BHS), who was reported missing some two weeks ago), as well as making a strong plea to anyone who has credible information to come forward.

"I use this opportunity again to call on our parents, our guardians, those who have the care of children and young people to be more concerned, be more vigilant and get more involved in the lives of your children. Know where they are and what they are doing," said Mr. Hodge, while adding that parents should have a profound interest in their children. "I think that we are just leaving it to the school teachers and other persons in the community. They are your children and you have to take that responsibility to make sure that they are safe.

The permanent secretary said that there's only so much that can be done from a school or an organization's standpoint, noting that the parents have to and need to take charge.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, the Honourable Shawn Richards, also made a call for parents to be more responsible, and stated that society as well has to play its part. He made specific reference to Leanna's disappearance and said that acts of that nature should not be allowed to continue. He made a plea for her safe return.  

"This, as a society, we should not tolerate. This, as a society, we should not allow to continue. This is about the future of our nation, the development of our nation. If we have any care for those that we love, if we have any care for those who we are concerned about, if we have any care for this the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, then our conscience will guide us to do the right thing, which is to assist the police and the family with locating Leanna," said Minister Richards.

Maurice Benjamin, Principal of BHS, described Leanna's disappearance as unfortunate and wished for her safe return so that she can be able to sit and complete her examinations. He urged all to once again adopt the saying "it takes a village to raise a child" as this can prove beneficial in the long run.

Inspector Mackie Smith of the Violent Crimes Unit (VCU) and Constable Lyndita Powell of the Special Victims Unit (SVU) within the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) also addressed the press.  

 

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