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Blame Jones

The mother of the 14-year-old student at the centre of the “wrapper controversy” at Springer Memorial School is taking matters into her own hands as she attempts to find a satisfactory solution to the eight-week long dispute.

Although she has referred the issue to her attorney, Elecia Weekes today revealed plans to stage a quiet protest this weekend, complaining she had not had justice from the Ministry of Education.

Having previously indicated a desire to have the child transferred to a school of her choice, Weekes now seems to suggest that the best outcome is an amicable resolution to the row with Springer.

Chief Education Officer Karen Best was yesterday quoted in a Barbados Government Information Service (BGI) release as saying the student had been transferred to Ellerslie Secondary School.

However, Weekes has rejected the transfer, and today she justified her decision, telling Barbados TODAY there were disadvantages to Ellerslie, including added costs she could ill-afford.

“What a lot of people fail to understand, Springer is a sixth form school and Ellerslie is a fifth form [school]. So although you have disadvantaged my child already, you want to disadvantage her more.

“People are not looking at the fact that September gone I have spent money on new uniforms, petty fees and school books and I am unemployed. To have to find money now for a new school is ridiculous and nobody is looking at this,” she explained.

The new development came as prominent lawyer Robert “Bobby” Clarke charged that those responsible for keeping the child out of school were committing an illegal act.

Clarke seemed to suggest that the school and the Ministry were culpable.

“It is illegal that this child is not in school. The Ministry of Education is there to ensure that the child is there to go to school. This child should be in school. Why has she been kept away from classes for so long?” Clarke told Barbados TODAY.

The child’s mother has said that her lawyer’s many attempts to have a meeting with Ministry of Education officials have been ignored.

However, Clarke argued that the lawyer needed to be more aggressive.

“Why wasn’t the lawyer involved in that process? If the lawyer was an effective lawyer he would get the meeting or he would advise [Weekes] ‘let us go down to the Ministry and sit down and wait’ and the minister would have to come out and talk to her. They have to be more aggressive than what they are doing now,” Clarke said.

“And the school’s board of management should intervene. She should let her lawyer write a letter urgently to the board. You got to get the board involved urgently,” he insisted.

In the BGIS press release issued yesterday, the Chief Education Officer was quoted as saying the ministry had done its due diligence and had transferred the teenager to Ellerslie because it was one of the schools she had chosen ahead of the Secondary Schools Entrance Examination.

However, Clarke doubted there was due diligence and urged Weekes’ lawyer to demand an explanation.

“I think that it is wrong. I think that the matter could have been settled the same very day with a proper discussion between the mother, the child, the teacher, the head and the board. It shouldn’t have allowed to get this far. And then it went into secrecy because they went and had these meetings behind the mother’s back. The child was not represented at that meeting and she is entitled to representation.

“Due diligence means that they had a meeting and agreed the child should be transferred to Ellerslie. How could you have a meeting to determine a transfer without the child and the mother or the lawyer there to question what they are discussing?”

Meantime, in a press release issued late this evening, the Clement Payne Movement placed the onus strictly on Minister of Education Ronald Jones to end the dispute, which has kept the student from classes for eight weeks.

Quoting Section 25 of the Education Act, the organization’s president David Comissiong argued that the Ministry of Education could not transfer the child without the parents’ consent.

“In light of the fact that this child had sat the Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination; had obtained the qualifying mark for admission to Springer Memorial
School; and had been admitted to Springer Memorial, she can only be transferred away from Springer Memorial to another public secondary school if her parents had applied for such a transfer. The Ministry of Education cannot unilaterally impose such a transfer on the child! The child’s parents would have to first request such a transfer,” Comissiong contended.

When all was said and done, he stated, the ultimate responsibility for the “debacle” rested “not with the child; nor with the Principal of Springer Memorial; nor with the mother of the child” but with Jones.

He maintained that it should have been clear that “all too familiar human emotions and egos” got in the way of both the principal and the mother, making it difficult for them to communicate with each other or to come to a “rational” resolution of the matter in the child’s best interest.

“And this is where the Minister of Education– in his capacity as one of the highest representatives of the people of Barbados, and a presumed repository of ministerial power, discretion, judgement and responsibility – was required to exercise leadership, and to intervene in a mature, balanced, responsible and humane manner to help resolve the matter in the best interest of the minor child. This, Mr Jones spectacularly failed to do,” Comissiong charged.

He concluded that it was tragic that the teenager “has been made to suffer” as a result of the failings of adults who should have known and done better.

47 Responses to Blame Jones

  1. Maria Leclair
    Maria Leclair February 10, 2016 at 2:35 am

    In other news today, this guy needs a nice cold Banks Beer….

  2. Bobby Gilkes
    Bobby Gilkes February 10, 2016 at 2:39 am

    I really dont see how springer get a 6th form before Ellerslie but thats the power that before ya ………..

  3. Michelle Stephens
    Michelle Stephens February 10, 2016 at 3:56 am


  4. Shane February 10, 2016 at 4:57 am

    Say what Hal? You typed before you thought?

  5. Kathyann Best
    Kathyann Best February 10, 2016 at 5:29 am

    She called for a transfer, got one, now having to buy new clothes and stuff is an issue. If she had gotten the transfer of her choice these things would still have to be bought!! Smh!

  6. SSS February 10, 2016 at 6:36 am

    If there ever was a mother whose mouth has put her out to sea, it is this one. Springer Memorial is one of the so-called low schools that through commitment, good work ethic and care, its teachers, past and present, head teachers, past and present, have pulled that school from despicable to a school now with a good reputation. I fail to see any teacher or headteacher for that matter wanting to execute vengeance on a child who obviously have an issue with humility and authority. This mother would do well to see the battle as hopeless when the war created by her is as a result of her own misplaced sense of standing for something.

  7. Jacqueline G February 10, 2016 at 6:50 am

    I wonder if the girl was going to wear Springer Uniform to the st Michael /foundation school had the mother request been granted for the transfer to either school.

  8. Outside looking in February 10, 2016 at 7:07 am

    This is so disgusting the amount of time, energy, and resources going into this ridiculousness behavior of a mother that don’t listen and a rude ass little girl please all of this BS over piece of paper, is there more inportant things in barbados to worry about like garbage collection criminals in the streets instead of some damn piece of paper

  9. BaJan boy February 10, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Maria Leclair that is most insensitive,iliterate and down right misplaced. It is not your child one day the shoe will be on your foot.if Ministers don’t go to work how are they going to deal matters important or otherwise.
    This bunch just don’t care all they are doing is drawing the tax payers money by default and living the life they never had before.
    Barbadians need to wake up and in doing wake up Freundel the same time…

    • Ronnie Murrell February 10, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      This has nothing to do with ministers, politics, or the country’s state of affairs… it is pure nonsense on the mother’s part. If you want to fight the teacher and Principal’s decision go right ahead but leave the child out of it… and please teach the child to respect authority.. It will take her a long way.

  10. E February 10, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Fact rarely has anything to do with sensitivity

  11. E February 10, 2016 at 8:21 am

    This is the most publicized attempt at bullying that I’ve ever encountered. How can the mother use her daughter as a pawn to bully the education system, fail miserable then solicit sympathy? Does anyone realize that if she got her easy the you’re of precedent that would have been set?

  12. david February 10, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I only hope that this child has something to show for her seven weeks of stubbornness and the bad john behavior of her mother when she leaves school: some good CXC passes or an athletic scholarship or something that will allow her to embark on a good career. To be willing to comprise your child’s education over the last seven weeks over a sweetie paper is a unbelievable level of folly, misguided principles and wrong priorities. For the mother to place the cause of the problem as the responsibility of everyone else but herself – from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry, the class teacher, the school principle – reflects an unbelievable level of narcissism on her part. She has to be careful whom she is obtaining advice from. I also believe that the media has not properly covered this story – they have not rigorously interviewed the mother – there are too many loopholes in her story when they have not apparently asked her to clarify. I want to know for example whether the child had other previous disciplinary issues at the school. I also want to know whether the school authorities offered/proposed her an alternative form of punishment. I also want to know whether the mother did not previously propose/request a transfer to St. Michael or Foundation

    • Rosetta green February 10, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      David I could not have said it better myself .

  13. Confused February 10, 2016 at 9:02 am

    I am actually confused. The Clement Payne Movement quoted section 25 of our Education Act. I found the act online, and it states:
    “Nothing in this Division affects the validity or operation of any endowment or trust that, immediately before the appointed day, existed in favour of a Governing Body. An endowment or trust referred to in subsection (1) has, from the appointed day, effect as an endowment or trust in favour of, or to be administered by, the Crown for the same purposes and for the benefit of the same school as before that day”

    Also in my view this needs to end – put the child back into some school. Also the mother is a total disappointment in my view of a mother. You don’t want her at Springer because she is being picked on. You were of the view – Send her to SMS or Foundation You were fine with purchasing those uniforms so … how this whole drama about money come up now? This is amazing and moronic.

  14. Bajansunflower February 10, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Well said & oh so true @ Tony Waterman

  15. Mrs Weekes February 10, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I’ll just leave this here @Tony Waterman
    thank you very much well said

  16. shirley smart February 10, 2016 at 10:47 am

    This mother is talking on two sides of her mouth,she int working she dont have the finance 2 get the child 2 that school yet she is asking 4 a transfer 2 Foundation or St.Michaels and she have money 2 be paying a i hearing right.I think as she say she is a single parent things gone 2 her head and she needs medical attentionAs A mother myself i feel 4 the child cause her mother might not live 2 see her get a woman and the child could rebel .I would like 2 know if she is B,D or I

  17. Saford February 10, 2016 at 10:58 am

    The young lady was wrong for being rude to her year head and principle and for that she deserved to be punished. My problem is, if the child was punished by being suspended from school for a week in the first instance why was she still being kept out of class after returning to school and the situation escalating to the child being removed from school. Why was the student who beat the deputy head not expelled but a student who was rude now has to find another school…….as soon as a person stands up for their rights in Barbados they are made out to be the worst. This is an abuse of authority,you should not punish a person more than once for the same crime.

  18. Meakai February 10, 2016 at 11:06 am

    —> Having previously indicated a desire to have the child transferred to a school of her choice, Weekes now seems to suggest that the best outcome is an amicable resolution to the row with Springer.

    —> “People are not looking at the fact that September gone I have spent money on new uniforms, petty fees and school books and I am unemployed. To have to find money now for a new school is ridiculous and nobody is looking at this,” she explained.”

    —> Quoting Section 25 of the Education Act, the organization’s president David Comissiong argued that the Ministry of Education could not transfer the child without the parents’ consent.

    —> “In light of the fact that this child had sat the Barbados Secondary Schools Entrance Examination; had obtained the qualifying mark for admission to Springer Memorial
    School; and had been admitted to Springer Memorial, she can only be transferred away from Springer Memorial to another public secondary school if her parents had applied for such a transfer. The Ministry of Education cannot unilaterally impose such a transfer on the child! The child’s parents would have to first request such a transfer,” Comissiong contended.

    Why pay to send reporters to cover a story if all they are going to do is simply listen and then regurgitate? There must be cheaper ways to do that.

    I gine soon stop reading newspapers!

    Now you see why it is hard to believe anything you read in a newspaper?


  19. Dr No February 10, 2016 at 11:24 am

    from all reports from the newspaper the mother is seeking the transfer. furthermore any school of her choice will require the same fees and initial expenses to send her daughter there.

    thirdly ellerslie not being a 6th form school isnt a real hinderance. many students have gone from a 5th form school unto a school that facilitates 6th form, many students also have not gone unto 6th form at these schools due to unsatisfactory performance.

    fourthly Having previously indicated a desire to have the child transferred to a school of her choice, Weekes now seems to suggest that the best outcome is an amicable resolution to the row with Springer.”

    really? it took u over 7 weeks to realise this? you requested the transfer and now you want to lament on how expensive a transfer is?

    from what i have read so far, this lady’s approach to this situation has been horrible and i hope her daughter doesnt suffer any more because of it

  20. Kevin February 10, 2016 at 11:42 am

    …….Having previously indicated a desire to have the child transferred to a school of her choice, Weekes now seems to suggest that the best outcome is an amicable resolution to the row with Springer………..

    Please cue Kid Site’s song: ‘Bajans Dont Know What They Want’

  21. bajanbeauty February 10, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Ms. Weekes got what she requested … she asked for a transfer and got it she should have thought of the cost of her own actions before making herself look like a perfect fool

  22. janetter reifer February 10, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    I didn’t know that Springer has a six form. Years not Coleridge and Parry was asking for a six form and Alexander now is a six form. The naked truth. I’m really sick of this country. I live here because I have no other choice.
    When I hear new name of some schools, I cannot identify with the schools.

  23. Case February 10, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    This is to easy. Student should be at the school legally. What the heads did was abuse power and caused stress. One little girl can cause an entire school not to function. Then the Administration is week. Let the girl go to class and relax all stresses. Wow more important things happening that needs urgent attention.

  24. margaret phillips February 10, 2016 at 2:50 pm


  25. Sandra basc February 10, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    When all is said and done the child is the one who has been charged, convicted and sentence to hell. You would think that grown men and women would stop abusing their power and consider what is in the best interest of the child. Did she beat the teacher or the principal to warrant this kind of punishment? All she did if the reports are true is stick up for her rights. Where is the child care board and UNICEF in all this.

    The teacher and principal and all you who think she should go where the ministry sen d her are being very vindictive.

    All people have rights even the prisoners at Dodds. This child is being treated worse them a prisoner and she has not committed a crime.

    It is time we end this. Use your common sense and get that girl into school.

    My question is did the teacher or principal give her gloves to use while she was supposed to pick up the garbage? Have any of them ever participated in the clean up Barbados drive?

  26. Rosetta green February 10, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    I am in Torah agreement with you and to this day she is still the one disadvantaging her child.

  27. Marbar February 10, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Well, well, after reading most of you all nonscence I can see why we really need the LORD. What are we really telling the youth? How can one wrapper effect one’s life?. PLEASE stop thinking about taking the child from her parent, IT CAN HAPPEN TO ALL YOU WHO SUGGESTED IT. Come on now, let us reason together.
    You who are without SIN cast the first stone, some of you have big children you can’t so boo to and never did; yet you want to give advise. Where is the blame laid? child or teacher, parent or educational system? you or me. Let us consider our ways and be wise, pray that that child will not be another statistic, going on drugs or leaving home then all you LOUD MOUTH would think twice before you act. WE HAVE A GOD WHO SEES EVERY SIN THAT IS PLACE AT HIS CHILDREN FEET, LIVE IN LOVE, DO NOT CONTINUE TO PLAY THE devil’s game, TRUST GOD. LOVE YA.

  28. Marbar February 10, 2016 at 6:03 pm


  29. Patrica February 10, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Tony is talking madness because all fathers are not relevant … so please . There have many single parents who out there that are struggling really hard just to get there child from one place to the next and that child is a very intelligent girl to be said .

  30. Sandra basc February 10, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    The teacher and principal of Springer are damaging the child’s chance for entitlement to an education. They have charged , convicted and sentenced that child to Hell all because they can and there is no one to represent her.
    Where is the child care board and UNICEF. She is being treated worst than the prisoners at Dodds.
    Teachers are supposed to look out for the welfare of their charges. Our modern day teachers have no heart. On a regular the children are hardly taught anything. Now they are up in arms because refused to picknup garbage, she is perfectly right she is not at school to do that. Was she provided with gloves? I am sure the janitors use gloves. What’s next clean the toilets. Every individual has the right to say NO.
    She has been punished enough.

    • Tony February 11, 2016 at 11:05 pm


      This didn’t start with picking up all the garbage. The first refusal was over a single wrapper. It was just a matter of tidiness in her immediate surroundings.

  31. Sandra basc February 10, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    I would like to know if that teacher or the principal of Springer, chief education officer or minister of education every took part in the annual clean up Barbados drive.

    Stop the pettiness and let the child continue her education at Springer if that is what she wants to do. We all know that where ever she goes it will not be easy therefore, I am no psychologist, but familiarity is better.

    This whole thing has me really puzzle. Did she beat the teacher or principal to deserve such severe a punishment.

    Somebody has to be adult enough to settle this. Too much time has pass.

  32. Andrea Parris-Lochan February 10, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    I thought the mother said she was unemployed? She complained of of all the money she spent already, but she can afford a LAWYER?? Ridiculous! In the mean time, this child is out of school……..poor example of a mother…….all over a wrapper?????

  33. Venneta February 10, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    She had money for a lawyer, but can’t buy new supplies. ? I am a teacher here in thr US. My students pick up paper etc at dismissal. It seems as though the mother asked for a transfer, got it, and now don’t want to follow through. for you Sandra, HOW DARE you talk about teachers having no heart. . Teachers pay for books , supplies lunches and clothes for their students on a daily basis. They act as social workers, doctors, cooks, lawyers , and more. We get students and parents who don’t follow the rules. When children are taught to disrespect authority they become adults who do the same. The person who is being damaged the most is the child. ENOUGH already.

  34. Anny February 10, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Can anyone answer the following for me:
    what really cause this problem and also the rights or laws that governs a principal?

    Is there a difference in school children or the children in the community volunteering to pick up trash on the beach etc?

    If asked at home to pick up trash whether indoors or outdoors what should be one’s respond?

  35. Anny February 10, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    In the old saying everything begins at home. Someone correct me, doesn’t this same mentality and attitude are display in the work force? Hummmmmmmmmmmm

  36. miche February 11, 2016 at 7:45 am

    This mother found out too late,, just how expensive ignorance can get

  37. miche February 11, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Tony Waterman, you alluded to the fact that this single ,unemployed,can now find money to retain a” big mout lawya”;For your information,, the two mentioned here, believe that every cock fight need uh referee,duh want to be remembered wen history is written as de lawyers who were dey fuh de masses ,, no matter how rong or misinformed they were…

  38. Sandra basc February 11, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Stop citising the mother it has gone way pass her. If all of you think she is clueless , then someone needs to step in and show her the way. She has a right to her opinion land to defend her child like everyone else do. She has not committed a crime. But the ministry of education has to look out for the educational welfare of the minor child.

    Do something right Mr Minister.

  39. Valdine Turton February 11, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Well well, I can’t believe that all this going on over a wrapper controversy. When they are other issues going on in some of the schools where I read that teachers are having sex with 14 years old school children, on the property, in they car, on the beach in they home and nothing is being done, how can you transfer a child to a 5 grade school from a 6 grade school when she had the requirements for the school, it has to be some other way to discipline the child why have janitors and paying them if the children have to clean up stop wasting tax payers money on nonsense.

  40. petra February 11, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Yes I agree the child was wrong to refuse to pick up garbage in her classroom, but for God’s sake the principal was dead wrong for refusing to let her take her lunch break to pick up garbage wat kinda shit is dat, what she cldnt come up wid a better punishment, how can u refuse to let a child attend classes to pick up garbage all over a school utter maddness, they all need to put their egos aside and let the child attend school, what transfer what, the only reason y’all want her gone is because the mother dared to go to the press, she is well within her rights BTW…….

  41. juliet February 12, 2016 at 1:17 am

    the parent of this child is not helping the situation. She cant afford to buy clothes for the girl’s transfer but can still afford a lawyer. Why is it that her son got in trouble whilst at Ellerslie. She is instilling the wrong values in that child and from what I read before, it was not the first time there was a misunderstanding with the school girl in question. I am surprised to read that people think it is the ministry’s responsibility to bend to the girl parent wish. why did she not accept St Lucy’s secondary. Ellerslie school is nearer than Springer. If she continues with this. schools will be sort of reluctant for fear of her mother and this indiscipline girl.

  42. cher February 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    There is such a thing as pro bono. Any lawyer that believe that they can win the case they would do it for free. These people need to realise that suffering a child to no education for 8 weeks is unfair to the child. If the tables were turned and the mother was the one not subjecting her child to an education for 8 weeks everyone that is doing nothing to help this child right now would be the head ones to crucify the mother and say she does not care about the child and her education but they do. Also, the mother would end up with a charge, but now because it’s people with power it’s a different story.

  43. Tamie February 14, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Sometime you can look at cost when it comes to vindicating a right. I would pay my last to do so be cause people would walk over you continuously if you don’t. Also, I agree with Comissiong completely.

  44. Vangura February 15, 2016 at 12:05 am

    I think the mother is to blame … This is getting out of hand. The girl should be told to apologize and go back to school. The mother refusing a transfer and then finding lawyers and can’t even afford petty fees. Unless done for free. Yes due process may not have been met but the mother could have gotten her daughter back in school with a little you needs to have respect for your elders…


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