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School threat

Parkinson and Alma Parris teachers refusing to return to the classroom

After staying away from school for two hours today, teachers at two of this island’s secondary schools are threatening to remain off the job indefinitely unless their safety concerns are addressed by the authorities.

President of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) Pedro Shepherd made the announcement today at a press conference at union headquarters, Merryhill, Welches, St Michael, after a formal complaint was lodged with the union last Thursday that students at the Parkinson Memorial Secondary School in the Pine, St Michael were bringing knives to school.

Today’s decision by BUT members threatens to disrupt classes at the Parkinson Memorial.

Today’s decision by BUT members threatens to disrupt classes at the Parkinson Memorial.

“As a union we felt it was a serious matter because members of the teaching staff and ancilliary staff have to interact with the students,” said Shepherd, while lamenting that nothing had been done about the complaint by the Principal Jeff Broomes to date.

“The students were not suspended or letters sent to their parents,” Shepherd said.

The BUT president also reported that a group of students were found lighting paper in a classroom at Parkinson Memorial last week. He said the incident brought back ugly memories of fires that had plagued the Pine learning institution over the years.

“This situation was not addressed even though it is a serious matter.” he said, adding that “on a daily basis if one visits the Parkinson school what you see is total chaos where students are seen moving in large numbers.

“Students are difficult to track down and not going to classes they are expected to attend. So it is a chaotic situation at the Parkinson School and we in the union believe that something has to be done to allow some sense of normalcy to prevail at the school,” he stressed.

Today’s meeting was also attended by several teachers of the the Alma Parris Memorial Secondary School in Speightstown, St Peter, where Shepherd said similar problems of indiscipline existed.

However, the most vocal comments were made at the meeting by Parkinson staffers, including one female educator, who teaches a class of 26 students.

She publicly declared that “I am a woman and I have no intention of returning to that ‘zoo’.”

“Anything can happen to me when I am writing on the board and my back is turned to the classroom,” she said, pointing out that “throughout the day I have to be asking roaming students not to enter my class”.

“If something is not done at Parkinson School I am just not returning to the school,” she said, while reporting that doors to classrooms were either torn off or damaged.

While expressing fear that the teachers’ lives could be in danger, the BUT boss was equally adamant that members would not be returning to the compound until certain assurances were given.

“If the Ministry of Education can come this evening and give us the assurance that they are putting protocols in place that these things would not happen, the teachers would return to work tomorrow. But as it stands, the teachers have no intention of returning to that particular environment anytime this week,” Shepherd said, pointing out the Alma Parris teachers would support their colleagues at Parkinson in their protest action.

13 Responses to School threat

  1. Gregory Weatherhead
    Gregory Weatherhead February 11, 2015 at 3:13 am

    The Negotiating skills of Mr Shepperd , President of BUT leaves a lot to be desired. Further more it is a National problem that needs addressing.

    • MariaMaria Angel
      MariaMaria Angel February 11, 2015 at 4:20 am

      The problem stems from at home. Good like finding a solution for bad parenting in a democratic society, where anybody with a fertile womb or the ability the produce viable sperm is allowed to breed.

  2. Angel Maloney
    Angel Maloney February 11, 2015 at 3:45 am

    Let’s c how this one play out…….

  3. MariaMaria Angel
    MariaMaria Angel February 11, 2015 at 4:32 am

    Teenagers buying guns and bringing to school knives etc. and teachers (who the public seem to think synonymous with jacka**) are expected to grin and bear it. Why don’t you parents do a better job for all our sakes? Many of you are the reason why these poor children are the way they are. Get off the phone, get off Facebook, get out the bar, the rum shop, your man’s or woman’s bed, get out the line to buy tickets for the latest show, get off the block liming, get out of the hair salon gossiping, get out the bars flirting AND RAISE YOUR DAMN CHILDREN PROPERLY, RATHER THAN DEPEND ON TEACHERS TO DO IT. Stop destroying your children’s lives with your piss poor, ineffective, lackluster parenting skills. GET UP AND PARENT!!

  4. Alva Holdipp-Hope
    Alva Holdipp-Hope February 11, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Why the powers that be don’t sit nd redress the policies which were changed… This isn’t the 1970s where children might’ve been a lil more docile…discipline is seriously lacking …Nd it doesn’t start in the school…its only gonna get worse

  5. Brandon St.Rose
    Brandon St.Rose February 11, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Once again i read these comments and see the selfishness of some bajans. many of these children are highly aggressive , couple that with the fact that they are armed, and you have a recipe for trouble, these teachers have a right to be scared and to request some form of protection.

  6. Frederick Husbands
    Frederick Husbands February 11, 2015 at 7:06 am

    All the north faces bags in the picture is a big part of the problem. Parents believe they can buy Education and common sense for the children with brand names items.

  7. Queenie ShaSha
    Queenie ShaSha February 11, 2015 at 8:11 am

    trust and believe parkinson is not the only one…my safety is more important than someones kids..cuz if i aint alive whats my family gonna do …my kids…if im.busy teaching urs and they are busy trying to kill me and each other..who do think a teacher gonna choose…thank you very much…no one goes to work in chaos …idk how those teachers do it cuz those kids dont care about half of what they are doing…brand name bags …700 dollar cellphones…mk bags and hot curls and dressed to the nines at every fete being held and ready to cuss out everyone who looks at them for 5 seconds…fix them jesus cuz only he can …no teacher can….

  8. Janice Jordan February 11, 2015 at 8:24 am

    The question we need to ask is what is put in place for these children after school. And I do agree with the second statement. Some of these parents are children themselves so how can a child raised a child. Parents want so much to be their children friend they are forgetting to be their parent. Your children have enough friends when they enter school and out school so stop trying to be their friend and be their parent.

  9. Maxine Hutchinson February 11, 2015 at 10:49 am

    In January 2009 I designed a two-phased parenting programme and handed it to my “boss”. It was thrown aside in my presence and a few days later I got word that it was suited for the University and that I was making the parents out as being responsible for the maladjusted behaviours of their children. I was regarded as a poor piece of tripe who lacked not only money but some intelligence as well.

    Someone else tried their hand at designing another one but at the end of it, parents complained that they had not been equipped with the knowledge of how to manage their “hard ears” children.

    That’s “classissm”!

  10. bernard and india walker February 11, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Now if the adults at home won’t teach. The school can. Security system can have quotas. Cops can’t . 5 kids going up a letter grade or not missing school. can get you 100 $$ more at end of month .

  11. lester February 11, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    this problem of deviant behavioral patterns are home grown. take a good look at these so-called parents, they’ve miss the boat; weed and hennessy, thugism and gangsterism is glorified among these so-called parents and we expect angelic behavioral patterns?
    wishful thinking. Parents are in trouble and so will be their off spring JESUS CHRIST IS THE SOLUTION NOTHING ELSE WILL DO.

  12. Marsha Armstrong February 11, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    All these north face bags looking empty!!!!


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