Lingering Colonialities as Blockades to Peace Education: School Violence in Trinidad
Author: Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams, Gettysburg College
Citation: Williams, Hakim. “Lingering Colonialities as Blockades to Peace Education: School Violence in Trinidad.” Peace Education: International Perspectives. Eds. Monisha Bajaj and Maria Hantzopoulos (London: Bloomsbury, 2016), 141-156.
Abstract: Based on research in Trinidad, I argue that ‘school’ violence is reduced to ‘youth’ violence, and that the predominating discourse about what constitutes school violence itself, and its drivers/‘causes’, takes on a limiting and individualizing nature. As a result, the principal interventions that emanate from such a discourse are correspondingly narrow and therefore fail to reveal the structural violence in which youth violence in schools is embedded. I posit this discursive violence as a lingering coloniality, which is a blockade to sustainable peace education in Trinidad’s schools. I discuss the perils of focusing on more negative peace oriented interventions over those of a positive peace orientation, by centering my analysis on three government initiatives that do not address the structural violence within the educational system; they merely narrowly train their gaze on the ‘symptoms’ of school violence. I conclude with suggestions on how to more comprehensively address school violence.