A member of the St. Maarten Lions Club (left) assisting a teenager with filling out the online youth survey.
PHILIPSBURG–Among students in St. Maarten, 46 per cent indicated they do not feel safe at school. The feelings of insecurity are mainly caused by youth violence and bullying. That is the outcome of an online survey carried out by the St. Maarten Lions Club among 316 respondents of the school-going population.
The Lionistic Year July 2019-June 2020 was observed as the “Year of the Youth” under the theme “Our Children/Our Future”. In view of the increase in violent incidents among the school-going population at the time, past Lion president Oralie Boirard and the local Lions Club undertook as their signature project the hosting of a youth forum to provide young people a platform to speak about and recommend solutions for their identified priorities.
The first phase in this initiative involved the launching of an online survey that encouraged the youth to participate in sharing their experiences in everyday life and express general sentiments about youth issues in St. Maarten. The survey was developed around the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and served to gauge knowledge about youth rights and whether these rights are being protected.
The survey was conducted from February 24 to March 15, 2020, and targeted youth ages 11-19 years. Students were allowed to complete the survey during school hours.
Due to the ongoing restrictive measures in place related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Youth Forum Event originally scheduled for May 2020 was postponed and plans are in place to hold a virtual youth panel discussion in the first quarter of 2021.
The Lions Club said it is committed to sharing a summary of the findings of the survey with stakeholders, participating schools and the general public. A full view of the survey results is available at
The Lions Club’s Youth and Education Committee created the survey in cooperation with youth survey developer Iris Hakkens, parents, school boards and school managers, PJD2-FM 102.7 talk show host Wendell Moore, Philipsburg Broadcasting and Teen Times.
This project is part of the St. Maarten Lions Club’s 50th Anniversary celebration for 2020-2021 under the theme “50 Years of Dedicated Service and Commitment to our Community”. The Lions Club celebrated 50 years of existence on December 12, 2020.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/almost-half-of-students-do-not-feel-safe-at-school