Speak out!

Parents told to challenge authorities to get the best for their children

Parents of students at the Ann Hill School have been urged by an education official to speak out and challenge the authorities where necessary to get the best for their children.

Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Kaye Sargeant, gave the advice at this morning’s graduation ceremony at the Pine Hill, St Michael institution that caters to secondary school-age children with developmental delays and other disabilities.

Sargeant noted that many times there were people who complained about various situations even though the power to make change rested inevitably with them.

“[But] parents, teachers cannot do it alone. You must always work in collaboration with your class teacher. Support one another in the best interest of your child. You have been given the joy, the job, the time to raise a very special child, and some of your students are going onto further education and are going to encounter further challenges.

“We all know that this really is the beginning of their challenged life, as they enter into the outside world . . . without the support of the school and their teachers. For you parents, sometimes it may be very daunting as you think about what’s next. This is why I urge you to be the advocate on the behalf of your child. Challenge the authority . . . in a peaceful manner,” Sargeant said, while urging them not to depend solely on Government.

“Knock on the doors, pound on the pavements, ask that question. You sometimes need to ask that question. What can I have for my child? I always feel that parents are the strongest persons to advocate for their children. You know the challenge they face. You know what they need,” the official stressed.

Meanwhile, speaking to the theme Tomorrow’s Journey Begins Today, Reverend Adrian Smith of the Calvary Moravian Church beseeched the students to hold their heads up high and shun negativity.

Drawing reference to Psalm 1, he told then to take a step away from all of the negative people, “all those who would want to label you and say that you can’t”.

“You need to pull yourself away from persons who would always want to keep you down and tell you that you can’t; or look down on you because of what they think about you. I meet so many persons who are living under the shadow of what everybody else thinks of them.

“But you need to recognize that God said that you are wonderful, you are beautiful, you are special and you can do anything you want to do. You just have to put your heads to it and really work hard at it,” he added.

2 Responses to Speak out!

  1. Martin Jackman
    Martin Jackman June 14, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Parents of children with disabilities in Barbados needs to unite, There is a need for a strong parent body within the disable community free of political affiliations. Many parents are afraid to speck out because of the fear of victimization and they are not accepted as members of the disable community……. there is also too much fragmentation in the community ……………More needs to be done to support the mentally and physically challenged children in BIM….. .

  2. Kathy-Ann St. Hill June 14, 2014 at 8:30 am

    First of all I want to THANK you for ALWAYS covering Ann Hill School’s events. However I most want to thank you for referring to my children as ” secondary school aged children with developmental delays and other disabilities “. Often times in the media they are referred to as ” special needs children” which makes some of them feel stigmatized and embarrassed. Thank you for remembering that “special needs” refers to what they have and not ” who they are”. Your sensitivity means a lot!
    One Happy Teacher


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