LIBERIA: 11 Students Arrested In Police Raid Of Zwedru Ghettos Released To PTA

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ZWEDRU, Jan. 20 (LINA) – A sweeping raid of ghettos in the Disco Hill community of Grand Gedeh’s capital, Zwedru, has left nearly a dozen uniformed students from the R. B. Richardson Baptist School arrested by the police.

They were later released by the police as a result of the intervention of the head of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of the school, Paul Neeo, Sr, who pleaded that the school authorities could best handle the matter.

Those arrested last Friday were from Grades 8, 9, and 12, LINA has gathered, but they denied involvement in drug use and abuse.

They were picked up by the police from a play-station booth near a ghetto, they argued.

Nonetheless, they were bundled in the police vehicle and taken to the Charge-of- Quarters before being released to be probed by the School this week, which may not look quite good for them.

“I was not on campus when the incident occurred. Upon my arrival I was informed by the principal, Rev. Shelton Seidi,” Vice Principal Nathan Smith confirmed the arrest of his pupils.

He said that the school’s Administration takes the issue seriously: “this is the first time such thing has happened since the establishment of this institution.”

Smith added that the school is contemplating on expelling the students once it is fully established that those in question were actually involved in acts inimical to the norms and handbook of the school.

In their rejection of the claim of smoking, one of the students arrested, told LINA at the police station that, “We were arrested at the Play Station; we didn’t know that there was even a ghetto close to the place.”

“To be frank; we know it was wrong to be in such place at that time with uniforms. We are appealing to the school authority to forgive us,” he, however, pleaded. “We did not go there to smoke but the police came and arrested us – they even charged our uniforms but did not find anything like drug.”

County police commander, ACP Joshua During, called it unlawful for students to be in ghettos and other such areas during and after school hours.

Local development-driven civil society groups, mainly the research-based NGO Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP) in 2019, rolled out an anti-drug campaign in many counties, targeting high school students who are usually vulnerable to drug use.

P4DP lengthily worked with the Liberia National Police in the effort to abolish the “Super Friday” fiesta during which students carry out get vices their parents and society may not accept.

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About Cholo Brooks 11661 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.