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End wrapper row now, parties told

Opposition Shadow Minister of Education Edmund Hinkson and the President of the Barbados National Council of Parent Teachers Association Shone Gibbs have called for a decisive end to the “wrapper controversy” involving a 14-year-old student.

President of the  BNCPTA Shone Gibbs.

President of the
BNCPTA Shone Gibbs.

The duo’s call comes ahead of tomorrow’s meeting between Minister of Education Ronald Jones and Elecia Weekes, the mother of the Springer Memorial student who was ordered out of school this week, in a dramatic twist to a row that has gone on for over eight weeks.

The student has been kept out of class for refusing to pick up a wrapper when ordered to do so by both her teacher and the principal.

Hinkson told Barbados TODAY that too much time had already been wasted on this controversy.

“Based on the facts that we know, it shouldn’t have come to this. I mean a 15 or a 14-year-old child is now out of school because of a piece of paper. Yes, the school has to enforce discipline, yes, every school child ought to obey the rules and show some discipline, so the blame is certainly not all on one side,” the Barbados Labour Party MP for St James North said.

Describing the situation as unacceptable, Hinkson was also of the view that the Ministry of Education should have intervened sooner.

“I can only hope that she goes back into the educational system as soon as possible wherever it is because really and truly it went too far. It needed intervention earlier, it needed calmer heads and cooler thought on both sides. But you know sometimes in human nature, people take hard and fast positions and don’t compromise. The end result [is] a child has been out of school for eight weeks because of a piece of paper. But to me it could have been handled differently even at the ministry level,” he added.

Meantime, the BNCPTA head argued that situation should have been handled differently, stating that his organization would have intervened had it been invited to mediate.

“We believe that we could have assisted if we were informed of the matter in the initial stages, so it would not skyrocket into something that it should not have been. But I am happy to hear that there is a meeting with the ministry and the parent. I have no doubt [they] will see quick resolution to the matter.

“Fundamental breaches have been committed in the handling of this matter and the intransigence by the parties involved is not the way to go,” Gibbs told Barbados TODAY.

He explained that the school
environment must be one that is “well sanitized” and “conducive to teaching and learning” and issued a call for all the “hostility” to end.

“We must be able to solve conflict. We must be able to work together to ensure that our education dollars are well spent and that the main beneficiaries of it benefit from it. The current environment and antagonism between parent and teachers must be a thing of the past otherwise our children will continue to suffer,” the BNCPTA head stressed.

However he remained adamant that everything must be done quickly to ensure that the child’s education did not suffer any longer.

“I would suggest that a school has been offered and response to the parent’s request that she doesn’t want the child to return to Springer school. In that case, it should be facilitated to ensure that she can get back into school to complete her work for CXC  . . . so don’t waste anymore time on the matter, get her back into school,” he said.

13 Responses to End wrapper row now, parties told

  1. Barry Brome
    Barry Brome February 12, 2016 at 5:04 am

    Picking up garbage is no part of the measures that a principle can dispense to a child in school. So no Year Head cannot tell no child pick up sweetie wrapper and suspend and transfer her. The system didn’t fail. The principal did.

  2. Angela Maria
    Angela Maria February 12, 2016 at 6:38 am

    BUt he missed yesterday’s “headlines”? The child’s mother is meeting with the Minister. Why voice his opinion at the tail end of the row? Where were you, Mr. Shadow Minister, when it all started. You like you don’t know how to campaign. You should have contacted her the very day the issue hit the news-stand and should have done everything in your power to help her…making sure to give the newspapers as many sound bites and head shots of yourself as possible. Take a page from your leader’s book and how she manoeuvred herself into the water shortage problem to look like a saviour to those long suffering people in St.Joseph and St. Peter….not that said problem has been solved.

  3. Tony Waterman February 12, 2016 at 7:09 am

    With all due respect, Opposition Shadow Minister of Education Edmund Hinkson, and President of the Barbados National Council of Parent Teachers Association Shone Gibbs, Both of you are Grandstanding, how come you are saying NOW that 8 weeks is long enough for this Girl to be out of School, did it take both of you that long to realize that Fact??? meanwhile you are saying that the Minister and the Ministry should have acted sooner, perhaps if you two had acted sooner the debacle would be over.

    Look!!!! If the Student had had taken the request/Order in stride as she should have, NONE of this would have happened, If her SILLY Mother had had accompanied her SILLY Daughter back to that School and offered an apology for her distasteful Behaviour (Read the Original Story) none of this would have Happened, Now!!! The Student’s Mother Requested that her Daughter be REMOVED from Springer Memorial, The Student was offered TWO Schools, Darryl Jordan and Ellerslie, the Mother REJECTED both Transfers, she wants her Daughter placed in a more ELITE Secondary School, St,Michaels School or Foundation School (Her words not Mine, Check the News Archives) So why are you two Both Blaming others for the length of this affair.???.
    I find it IRONIC that the Mother of this Student REFUSED to allow her daughter to be transferred to the Ellerslie School, whe the Ellerslie School was her alternate on the 11 Plus Form.

    in my opinion, Wrappergate was intended to get that Student Transferred to SMS or Foundation in the first place, that is why that student was rude to the two Officials and refused to pick up the candy wrapper, and it was all orchestrated by that Silly Irresponsible Mother.

    I hope that the Minister has Balls and, does not throw the Principal under the Bus. as that would be the worst thing to happen to our School system at this time, Every Student will start pushing the Envelope.

    “God is our hope and strength, a very present help in Trouble”

    • David Lemuel Piggottt February 12, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      Tony Waterman It seems to me you are a mind reader or an Obeah man as you know what Wrappergate was intended to do. You know the two gentlemen Grandstanding.You calling the Mother and daughter Silly and then talking about God. “God is our hope and strength, a very present help in Trouble”, with these unfounded utterances you should leave out God, there is nothing Godly in your comments. It more looks like you are the one Grandstanding and looking for attention, May God help you Bro.

    • Jimmy February 12, 2016 at 11:02 pm

      A bit harshly stated but I fully agree with every word you said Mr Waterman.

  4. BaJan boy February 12, 2016 at 8:34 am

    A most iliterate comment from you Tony Waterman.

  5. Shells February 12, 2016 at 10:12 am

    I totally agree with the comments made my Tony Waterman.

  6. Sundance Kid February 12, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I agree with Tony Waterman.
    Had the silly , bombastic politically used mother utilised her common sense, it would’ve been solved in the first two days of its occurrence. Then again it seems the child hadn’t alerted the Mum the same day she was sent home.

    However, firstly she should’ve scolded the ill-mannered child at home after learning of the incident.

    Secondly, should’ve taken her to the School and apologised to the powers that be and scolded her again in front of the powers giving the impression she is in control and not the child.

    Grandstanding and being belligerent in a simple matter for proper discipline of her child shows she herself needs help.

    The more she enunciated her case the more it shows the environment in which they live after revealing another incident with another child at the school to which a transfer was offered.

    I am sure the Lawyer didn’t tell her to apologise to the Powers that be at the school. He/she probably looking for political rewards that’s why the BLP MP now commenting because they realized what they expected isn’t forthcoming.
    It is agreed that the PTA didn’t invoke themselves because it was out of their domain .

    I hope the Minister doesn’t reverse his Ministry’s decision because that would send a very devastating effect throughout the system in this Country. Teachers would fear for their lives and the children will suffer, especially the ones who have psychotic parents like this unruly child.

    I suggest the Mother get some form of psychiatric counselling/ treatment which she sorely needs as revealed in this case.

  7. ryan February 13, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    wow i wonder when we as citizens of a free country lost our rights and civil liberties ,i wonder how many of you all talking this shit would take up trash around your work places ?and if you all honest with yourselves you know most of you won’t

  8. JOHN ORVILLEE February 13, 2016 at 5:18 pm



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