Redman: Cell phones spur gang activities in schools

President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) Mary Redman Friday stepped up her warning to the Ronald Jones-led Ministry of Education not to allow cell phones in schools, saying these devices will only exacerbate the problem of gang activity and pose a major security threat to schools.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY amid concerns about violence in schools, Redman said a troubling trend had emerged where students affiliated with gangs from various communities used their mobile devices to call for backup whenever there was conflict with other students.

“If there is a quarrel during the day in the school you have some students who are affiliated with gangs and I have gotten this report that the student would use the cell phone to call for support and assistance. So by the time school ends, either just outside of the school gates or in the environs of the school there is a mob to assist the member who felt that in some way he or she was being ‘unfaired’. By the end of day you have a group outside to beat up somebody,” she explained.

Back in 2015, Jones had announced he was open to lifting the ban on cell phones, as they were learning instruments.

Just two months ago from the floor of Parliament, Jones reaffirmed that commitment to reversing the 2009 policy to prohibit the devices in classroom, stating that his ministry had garnered feedback from stakeholders.

“The BSTU, the BUT [Barbados Union of Teachers], the council of parent teachers associations and the principals all had the policy to review and I’ve now finally received all of their comments and we’re seeking to incorporate within the policy those comments which would give us hopefully a better rollout of the particular policy,” Jones said at the time.

However the BSTU president has accused the Minister of Education of operating within the realm of ideals amid what she sees as the grim reality facing students and teachers today.

She also lamented the many examples on social media of students engaging in brutal and barbaric fights, spurred on by their classmates, in a bid to garner likes.

“Cell phone use is contributing to the ill-discipline because as soon as there is a fight now children whip out the cell phones and the ones who are fighting know they are being recorded and they are performing as well.

“Before the use of cell phones when children started a fight you find friends trying to pull them apart, but now nobody is stopping fights,” suggested Redman.

“In watching one of these disgusting displays, I heard chants of, ‘fight bad and get nuff likes’. In other words the more barbaric and animalist the fight is, the greater number of likes you would get when it is posted. So you hearing that clearly in the background because this is what the cell phone are encouraging,” the teachers’ advocate said.

15 Responses to Redman: Cell phones spur gang activities in schools

  1. Paul Chestnut
    Paul Chestnut May 6, 2017 at 12:24 am

    I’m in total agreement with you on this one ms:redman…

  2. Cynthia Bee
    Cynthia Bee May 6, 2017 at 12:34 am

    This is Sad. Will keep praying

  3. Livy Livingstone
    Livy Livingstone May 6, 2017 at 1:04 am

    I am not sure how long Mary Redman been around it seems we’ve been hearing from her for decades. Jeff Broomes her long time nemesis retired long ago. I may have missed it but has Redman ever agreed with anything her employer the Ministry of Education said or did? Just asking.

  4. Verla De Peiza
    Verla De Peiza May 6, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Can we please see the research and evidence?

    • Daniel Polonis
      Daniel Polonis May 6, 2017 at 7:33 am

      there are more than enough cell phone videos floating around of local school kids fighting….and behaving badly including having sex on school grounds or have you forgotten recent news stories?

    • Mario Burnett
      Mario Burnett May 6, 2017 at 7:44 am

      Yes but where has these started gang activity??????

  5. Jasper Stone
    Jasper Stone May 6, 2017 at 7:05 am

    I would of thought poverty and broken homes would be at fault for kids joining gangs

  6. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor May 6, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Some ppl will say anything when they are against something!

  7. Jennifer May 6, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Whenever there is a road accident etc ADULTS whip out their cell phones and take pics to send to other people without any RESPECT for the dead or dying. ADULTS VIDEO taping themselves having intercourse and body parts and sending it to others. So why should children who are MIMICKING adults not do the similar. This people are suckers for self destruction.

  8. Sunshine Sunny Shine May 6, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Talk ya talk ma girl. The imbecile that is Ronald Jones do not know from whence he came and what he do. His is a hope that the decision turns out for the best. Since he can introduce cell phone usage in schools, maybe we can ask him to lobby for the return of the general selling of fireworks. Because shortly, that is what you are going to have in the schools all across the island.

  9. Carson C. Cadogan May 6, 2017 at 12:44 pm


  10. Kevin May 6, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Well I agree with her comments about fights. Back inthe day, other children use to stop and help break up fights between their peers. But nowadays, fights are egged on, videotaped and encouraged.

  11. Avonda May 6, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Instead of trying to encouraging the use of cell phones in schools, why not focus on insisting that children carry their text books and note books? They never forget their cells but they forget their books or that assignment was due. Instead of buying the most expensive clothes, shoes, cell phones and all the little non-essentials to learning, show children the value of education.

    Electronic devices were questioned at one point and then the argument was made for them to be allowed. No problem. I can see how they can aid teaching so why must there also be an allowance made for cell phones?

    Some parents argue that cell phones enable them to keep track of their child but there is no way of knowing where your child is when the gps can easily be turned off. Cell phones have enabled children to cheat during tests, communicate with heavens knows who, record themselves and others engaging in some very insavoury acts, increase instances of cyber bullying and it distracts them from the business of learning.

    Schools are supposed to be places of business and as such, it should rules to be followed by everyone on the premises of that business. When visiting the embassy or the court houses, you are not allowed to have your cell phones and nobody is trying to change that rule.

    In short, allow the schools to remain as facilities for learning and stop trying to make children think society will change in an effort to accomodate their time wasting.

  12. Alex Alleyne May 6, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Reading this is like some one looking for guidance and wind up going to a “bartender” rather than a “Priest”.

  13. J. Payne May 6, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Lol. The “Rights of a child movement” has worked soo great.


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