Parents won’t send students to ‘sick’ school

Parents of students attending Lawrence T Gay Memorial School want to see an end to the environmental issues that have forced the authorities to close the institution.

Today, some parents told Barbados TODAY that while they understood the circumstances under which classes had been suspended since last Thursday, they were not prepared to risk their children’s health.

Last Thursday the Spooner’s Hill, St Michael-based school was closed because of environmental issues, which resulted in teachers and students complaining of sore throats, itchy skin and rash.

It was the second time in the space of four months the school has had to be closed due to environmental issues.

Parent Crystal Layne was concerned about the time lost by the students, particularly those preparing for the Secondary Schools Entrance Examinations in May, and called for classes to be relocated to a temporary facility until the matter was addressed.

“That would be better than having them home everyday not learning. If they could find somewhere to put them just until they deal with the issue,” Layne said.

Erskine Griffith explained that he did not know what the environmental issues were and would keep his son at home until health officials give the Ministry of Education the go-ahead to reopen the school.

“If the teachers are sick then it is best to keep the children home until they get it organized. We had a problem with Roebuck [Louis Lynch Secondary School], it was a problem with Combermere, now we don’t know what the problem is [at Lawrence T Gay],” Griffith said.

Yet another father was emphatic that he would not place his child’s health in jeopardy.

“I don’t want my child to get sick and then I got to be running at the hospital with her. The only thing that got me angry is that she got dressed and prepared to go to school and then she had to come back home.

“But as far as the [closure] I give thumbs up to the ministry because I don’t want my child to be sick. They are taking measures not to get the other children sick. But it is a crying shame that they don’t know what it is or they don’t want to tell the parents and I don’t respect that because we parents have a right to know,” said the concerned father who did not give his name.

The Ministry of Education yesterday advised that the school would be closed today.

Last year, a number of schools including Combermere and Eden Lodge Nursery also had to close temporarily due to environmental challenges.

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