Jones steps in

Minister of Education Ronald Jones is preparing to intervene in the “wrapper controversy” at the Springer Memorial School that has resulted in the expulsion of a student.

Jones, who had earlier sided with the action taken by the school’s Principal Pauline Benjamin, will meet at his office tomorrow with the mother of the 14-year-old student, whose refusal to pick up a wrapper when ordered by a teacher and the principal to do so, has led to her being barred from the classroom for over eight weeks now.

From left, the student at the centre of the “wrapper controversy”, her mother Elecia Weekes and child advocate Shelly Ross outside the Ministry of Education today.
From left, the student at the centre of the “wrapper controversy”, her mother Elecia Weekes and child advocate Shelly Ross outside the Ministry of Education earlier this week.

On Monday, the student was reportedly told that she was no longer part of the student roll and ordered off the school compound.

Her mother Elecia Weekes also told reporters she had been informed that her child would be transferred to Ellersie School but Weekes is refusing to accept the Ministry’s unilateral decision.

49 Responses to Jones steps in

  1. Sabrina An
    Sabrina An February 11, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I hate how this is going thru the wringer. Eight weeks she out school. Boy. Smh.

  2. Smart Iya
    Smart Iya February 11, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Dah mother meking sport …she should never go n meet wid dah ass…he wait too late to wanta intervene in tha…he more worried bout watching school boys boxers than the lil girl outta school

  3. Dario K Alleyne
    Dario K Alleyne February 11, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Cawblen this still gine on .. days of our lives?

  4. Val Toppin
    Val Toppin February 11, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Seems drastic – everyone’s on the bandwagon over a bloody wrapper – a wrapper that previous articles said she didn’t even drop in the first place! Is there nothing more important going on at that school that they have to use her in this way to push their point? The teachers and principal need their heads examined. SMDH

    • Tracy Holdipp
      Tracy Holdipp February 11, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Val Toppin when the head bad the whole body bad.. My daughter is in first form there and already I can tell you that i hate the fact that she is there, from the first day i went there for her books that was a real bad experience seeing the attitudes of the teachers and office staff.. i almost cried that cause i could only imagine what really goes on there… i had to ask a lady if this is what we are really sending our children into.. first impression counts trust me.

    • Sylvia Mayers
      Sylvia Mayers February 11, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      amen everyone on a power trip

  5. Tracy Holdipp
    Tracy Holdipp February 11, 2016 at 10:26 am

    He should have done this every since instead of getting in the papers talking a bunch of crap and instead of letting Karen Best, the teacher and the principal feel that them right.

    • Shadia Forde
      Shadia Forde February 11, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      Ya don’t say !!!

    • Tracy Holdipp
      Tracy Holdipp February 11, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      Shadia Forde I’m against rudeness but only God knows what really happen here.. It’s not always how things are done but it a’s also how it is done and I strongly believe that this issue went a bit too far from the beginning.. It’s only now that lawyers speak out and are showing you where bout the headteacher and Karen Best went wrong, that now Mr. Jones deciding to call a meeting.. If this woman has money to pursue this in court she would be a clear winner… Too much loop holes and it’s a lot more that people on the outside doesn’t know and she said that herself.. She say she can’t bring out everything so there more in the mortar than the pestal.

  6. Millinese Howell
    Millinese Howell February 11, 2016 at 10:42 am

    The MOE always put the cart before the horse what he is now doing he should have done earlier .Dear Lord help these leaders to seek your guidance in what they are doing that. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all things shall be added unto you.. trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding in air thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct you paths ,take these words to heart and it will help you all find sweet peace and fairness.

  7. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay February 11, 2016 at 10:48 am

    dah teacher own de school,lol

  8. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay February 11, 2016 at 10:50 am

    there are lots more at that school aint picking up any stuff,tell she try them,if wanna think its only de girl one,

  9. Val Toppin
    Val Toppin February 11, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Smells of them being on a “power trip” at the student’s expense. Shame on them – what an example to the pupils of that school, this so-called “adult” behaviour.

  10. Sanky February 11, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Eight and a half weeks after the fact Jones now talking about stepping in after talking so much rubbish.

    Symptomatic of this entire gov’t……..slow, slow, slow. Everything must reach crisis proportions before anything can be done…….stupseee

  11. Jema Goodluck
    Jema Goodluck February 11, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Fix it Jesus fix it. Lord You are in control of everything including the schools. Fix it Lord.

  12. Aquin February 11, 2016 at 10:59 am

    I really hope I misread this article. NO person can be that unprofessional these teacher go on some power trips but it’s time that the ministry really step in and rater them on performance .
    What sanders do they have ? None.

    How many students get insulted and disrespect by teachers and nothing is done or teacher getting involved with students and the child is being looked down on.
    Its time Barbados catch up with the time and become the leaders we were now we just got very lazy and stupid with little authority.

  13. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall February 11, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Long overdue, The headmistress should be dismissed , the matter was hand bad from beginning . TOO MANY BAD BOSSES EMPLOYED IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE. We do not have white massa but the dark massa hurting they own.

  14. Derrick Rowe February 11, 2016 at 11:11 am

    No one have said out publicly whether the girl was the one who dropped the wrapper on the ground.If she did indeed dropped it on the ground then she was wrong to do so and the mother is also wrong for backing her up.
    On the other hand a teacher would have to be mad to ask a child to pick up a wrapper from the ground simply because she is the one closes to it.If so,I will say that the teacher was bullying the child.Yes,some teaches are bullies too.

  15. Derrick Rowe February 11, 2016 at 11:17 am

    That is the way of this Government whether than nip things in the bud they sit back and wait for a disaster.

  16. Millinese Howell
    Millinese Howell February 11, 2016 at 11:23 am

    J emma I with you Lord take control of every thing

  17. Stanton Peace
    Stanton Peace February 11, 2016 at 11:27 am

    karen Best and her team are a waste of time,the ministry of Education should have long intervened in this issue.

  18. Genavease Taylor
    Genavease Taylor February 11, 2016 at 11:53 am

    About time …more in due mortar than due pestal

  19. Vanessa Heavenly
    Vanessa Heavenly February 11, 2016 at 11:55 am

    What I get from reading other comments is that there is nothing wrong with asking the girl to pick up the wrapper and I beg to differ. Some child could have licked that wrapper as children do, spit in it or wrapped discarded chewing gum in it. If said child was carrying some contagious disease, this girl would now be exposed to as she was not offered gloves or a dust-pan. People don’t seem to realize just how many serious diseases we are exposed to daily that are airborne furthermore tampering with other peoples’ trash. Teacher, principal, CEO and mimister are all out of order. Grown people are talking about children cleaning up schools. That was done in the past out of ignorance. We were not given proper gear or materials to carry out these tasks and if one us of had gotten injured or caught some disease, all we would have gotten was “sorry” the school would most likely not take responsibility.

    • Vanessa Heavenly
      Vanessa Heavenly February 11, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Please do not let the MOE feel it’s okay for our children to come to school to pick up trash for it will soon become the norm. Children go to to school to get an education, that is what the janitors are paid to do and they are equipped to do so safely. There is too much corruption in BIM. At some schools both the janitors and teachers have time to sell snacks while on the job, all with the knowledge of the principal. Should your child come down with leptospirosis or some such disease as a result, you will be promptly told it came from your dirty home and there will be no recourse form the MOE. Some schools have dogs, chickens and other wild creatures roaming the grounds. Bajans, we need to wake and stop letting people push us around. All of us talking nonsense know that a white, indian or of child of means would nevev have been asked to pick uper after someone else. THIS IS WRONGGG. Not to mention the treated meted out to the child for refusal. All involved in this travesty should resign or be sacked. The principal needs to be slapped with a civil suit for the torment she brought to bear on this minor. Imagine a principal could treat a child like this and the authorities telling me I cant lash my child. This is waaay worse. Too many bajans are slow learners and are very hateful and cold-hearted toward each other.

    • Mhizz Forever Bless
      Mhizz Forever Bless February 11, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      Point taken, I was saying the same thing. Only God know what’s was in d wapper I ain’t vex wid she she right, next thing child break out and d mudda ain’t know why.

    • H Alison Tyson-Davis
      H Alison Tyson-Davis February 11, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      There is nothing wrong with saying no to pick up the wrapper but the manner in which it was said that started the process.

    • Angela Maria
      Angela Maria February 11, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      Do you see when the janitor bends down and ties a shoe lace while on the job? Dusts off a child that has fallen and dries her tears while on the job? When the teacher goes without lunch to cut up cake, share drink, loot bags etc when you parents decide to have their birthday party at the school, while the teacher is on the job? When we spend time while on the job looking for a change of clothes for a child who has soiled themselves, so they won’t have to stay in dirtied clothes until someone picks them up?
      I am asking because you seem to think that a janitor should only clean and a teacher only teach. You better hope for the sake of the nation’s children that we dont start thinking like you. Only doing our jobs and nothing more,never going beyond the call of duty.
      We sell snacks to the children, my lady during BREAK TIME AND LUNCH TIME WHEN NO TEACHING IS BEING DONE, so how is that a problem?? IF THE JANITOR HELPS OUT DURING THAT TIME, how is that any business of yours?? Unless you want the janitors to sit down in the bathrooms all day long? The teachers to teach all through their lunch time?
      Stuspe. Probably walk around your workplace with a copy of your contract in yah back pocket….

    • Jackie Agard
      Jackie Agard February 11, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      Angela Maria all this time and you haven’t realised your BIG TRUCK that you say you used to mowed down SMALL FISH is now being driven on all flat tired ?

  20. Marva Straughn
    Marva Straughn February 11, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Foolishness…………after all this time ……stop bulling ppl children……this is a different day n age

  21. Phyllis G Wallace
    Phyllis G Wallace February 11, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    yes . definatley a different day and age. One where kids are not taught respect. That where it all stems from.

  22. Queenie ShaSha
    Queenie ShaSha February 11, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    The reality of it is if every person adopted the attitude this little girl BIM wud never have cleanups Cuz garbage men are paid to clean…I clean the road in front my house….just cuz they are kids doesn’t mean they do what they want. I beg to differ with these kids nowadays…I feel for them. They are an entitled bunchn just like their american counterparts.But what do you expect when u throw out your own value system and adopt those of a country that has shows displaying their kids such as teen mom beyond scared straight and 16 and pregnant….✌☕☕☕

  23. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce February 11, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    ‘Talkalot’ sided with the action taken by the school’s Principal Pauline Benjamin. He is the Minister of Education and he allowed a principal to cloud his judgment, so the teaching staff in Barbados can do as they please and get away with it. He suppose to remain neutral carry out a full investigation and ensure the young lady is attending school. He diverting, giving 100 per cent commitment discussing heteros, homos instead of focusing on the wrapper issue that gone viral and making Barbados look ridiculously. Talkalot need to focus on the job that he is paid to do. If it was up to me I would sack the lot of wunna.

    • Stanton Peace
      Stanton Peace February 11, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      very good reply veronvica you must be reading my mind.

    • Angela Maria
      Angela Maria February 11, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      Teachers boy…wanna feel that wanna could do as wanna please. Wanna need to stop!
      Stop driving home children whose parents leave them stake out at school until after 6 p.m. cause you don’t want to leave them there by themselves. The law says to take them to the police station. Stop doing as wanna please!!!!
      Stop using wanna cellphones to call parents to come for the their sick children, cause when you use the school landline, the parent’s landline temporarily disconnected or they don’t have no credit, and yah feel for the poor, ill child. The MOE says to desist from using your cell phones during school hours. Stop doing as wanna please.
      Stop using wanna own money and buying food, school clothes and books for certain students every year because the parents sending them to school hungry, unkept and without the tools they need to learn well. The Child Care Board says to report all cases of child neglect as that is a form of abuse. Stop doing as wanna please. Barbadians do not appreciate it. #thankless job

      • Lisa February 11, 2016 at 9:24 pm

        I agree with you totally Angela. I could not have said it better.

  24. Pamela Evans
    Pamela Evans February 11, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    While i support children being taught to respect others and especially teachers who are their second parents, i don’t agree transferring a pupil is the best or correct thing to do. If this is supported maybe we ‘ll have a lot of children being removed from schools for refusing to carrying an instruction. There are other punishments like a suspension fora day or three days and a warning but to transfer a child from a school is setting a dangerous example that could get out of control with other schools adopting this course. Also, as parents we must instill in our children to show respect at all times and we must not demonstrate ignorance in front of our children when dealing with teachers and desist from making degrading comments about our teachers to our children when they come home from school and complain about a teacher. This type of attitude causes the child to loose respect for their teachers. But for the sake of the child, i sincerely hope that this matter is settle quickly, this child would have lost eight weeks of schooling and putting her at a disadvantage.

  25. Sandra basc February 11, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Would anyone have picked up a piece of wrapper that you didn’t know who dropped it or where it came from with or without gloves? Would anyone?

    This whole thing has been blown out of proportion because we are a small minded society. An can’t get pass our egos. Those who should set good examples are lacking in good judgment.
    Teachers, Principals et all.

  26. Isolene Evans
    Isolene Evans February 11, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    It is time to stop this saga and get back to the business of education the nation youth in the right way. All the adults in this situation fail this young lady.The government people needs to take their nose out of the air and start learning how to deal with humanity. Jones and all his people need lessons on, communication ,humans rights ,fearless and doing the right thing.They all should be put on probation for a period of time.

  27. Judy Blacks
    Judy Blacks February 11, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Even thought i think that the girl was rude the punishment is ‘.t fair no child should have to clean up after other children no way it has gone On way to long

  28. Joanie1 February 11, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    There is no excuse for poor parenting. This is not about the wrapper. This is about a child who is allowed to do what she feels like, when she feels like at home and has taken that attitude to school.

  29. Bernadette Beauchamp February 11, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Barbados is adapting too much of the American way of life where kids can talk to their parents and adults in authority anyway they want. If this kid was asked to pick up candy wrapper just pick it and let it be over with instead of mouthing off. Now the mother on the other hand should have handle the situation differently as well finding out from the child why didn’t she pick the wrapper up. All this crap over a candy wrapper now the kid is missing important work leading up to CXCs really????

  30. Millinese Howell
    Millinese Howell February 11, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    At school sports their are treated like queens and back at school they are treated like garbage collectors what a disgrace.

  31. Ras Alhaji Tafari February 11, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    8 months out of school, WOW. This is unheard of, Mom you should have been beating down doors every day to get your child back in school. Secondly if your child was the one doing the littering and she refused to pick her trash up and didn’t she was wrong. If you are enabling her you are wrong. To the officials in Barbados you are all wrong, how can you deny a child an education by not resolving this matter expeditiously, Are you for real? The only loser in this situation is the child. Mom I don’t know who is advising you but I bet they kids are in school. Mom Please stop the stupidity and do all you can to get your child back in school, where she belongs either Ellersie or Springer.

  32. Carlos O
    Carlos O'Brien February 11, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Enter the Dragon aka Black Belt Jones!!

  33. Lauraine Clarke
    Lauraine Clarke February 11, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Listen up every one,this is not about the child anymore, the mother was given two transfers,people two,so what is to stop her from being in school, this mother is causing her daughter to be shame every time, I am going to say that stupidity is not common sense, I think that the mother should be lock up for not sending school this child, I think that the mother need to get down off that high horse and be respectful ,woman wise up.

  34. Janai Lovell
    Janai Lovell February 11, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    She was rude, she was punished. That shud have been the end of it. The principal was wrong in her actions…she is trying to show who is boss n hurting the child in the process. Jones wait too long to step in. I hope for the sake of the child this is resolved quickly.

  35. marcia February 12, 2016 at 10:39 am

    I cant believe the kid is expelled for not picking up rubbish. Exclusion for perhaps a week would have been more appropriate, but 8 weeks and then transferred to another school? Why should another school deal with a situation that has nothing to do with them and who is to say she wont do the same thing. Springer Memorial needs to deal with the problem, and so should the Ministry of Education and most of all the parents who are ultimately to blame for lack of discipline.

  36. Candice Taylor - Novack February 14, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    This is abuse of power. How can you justify removing a child from school for several weeks because of an incident such as this one? It’s not like she threatened to hurt a teacher or anyone at her school. The punishment does not fit the behavior. Save this type of punishment for a child who has a personality disorder, whose behavior is a detriment to others. This is an excessive response and a clear indication of abuse of power. Barbados tries very hard to be like America but it will never work because in the U.S. a school would never be allowed to abuse their power without legal consequences. This would be a violation of the child’s civil rights if the nation (Barbados) actually had any. Barbados is known for abusing the rights of children in schools and allowing the abuse of children in their homes. It comes up with silly reasons to do nothing or to take action in slow motion. The child’s behavior and response to the request needs to be challenged. She needs to be disciplined if the facts about the request and her refusal are true but the school’s response to her actions is excessive and a clear indication of abuse of power. The problem with Barbados is there are no laws to protect those without power. And those with power can abuse their authority without fearing any laws or standards to challenge them. Shame on Principal Pauline Benjamin and Minister of Education Ronald Jones for your outright abuse and misuse of power. The world’s eyes are on you. I am not in Barbados and yet I can read this story and see the injustice, and feel outraged by your lack of fairness. Imagine what other civil rights activist around the world are saying about this. Your actions are now being shared with activist across the internet, around the world. You names and reputations are now associated with the violation of a child’s right to an education. As for your lack of fairness, you have set a poor example for your students and even worse example for the nation.


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