Alma Parris parents reject Comissiong’s legal advice

They may have a legal leg on which to stand, but parents of displaced Alma Parris students today appeared reluctant to take attorney-at-law David Comissiong’s advice on how they should respond to the school’s sudden closure.

Following the recent announcement, Comissiong stated over the weekend that “it is totally ridiculous and unacceptable that in 21st century Barbados a Government minister and/or a Government ministry could believe that they are entitled to make a decision that so fundamentally impacts on a class of citizens of the country, and that they are under no obligation to consult those citizens.

“Not only is this backward, ‘stone age’ thinking, but it is also in conflict with the law of Barbados, and should therefore be rigorously challenged, even if it means having to go to the law courts,” Comissiong said in a statement issued on Saturday.

However, speaking to Barbados TODAY this morning following a meeting with officials at the Ministry of Education’s Constitution Road, St Michael headquarters, most parents appeared to have accepted the school’s fate, with some even praising the efforts of the authorities to find new placements for the students.

This was a totally different tune to the one sung by another group of parents last Thursday as they exited the ministry after receiving their allocation letters for the students to attend Grantley Adams, Darryl Jordan and St George Secondary schools.

At the time, many parents had openly expressed their dismay over the sudden closure of the St Peter based institution, which caters to students with learning disabilities. They had also heavily criticized the ministry’s decision to take those Alma Parris students who were 16 years or older out of the secondary school system and to place them in skills training programmes at the Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB) and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP).

However, Lisa Greene and her partner Earnest Linton told Barbados TODAY this morning that rather than making a fuss, parents should be grateful that their children are still in school.

Lisa Greene and her partner Earnest Linton.

The couple’s 15-year-old twins will be attending St George Secondary School in September, when the new school term begins. And though disappointed that they were not placed at Parkinson, which is close to their Pine, St Michael home, the parents said they understood the situation and were prepared to face facts.

“I would like the parents to accept the situation that is going on right now, because at least the ministry is trying to help us. If they weren’t trying to help us, . . . my sons are 15 and they could have just left them outside,” the father said.

Dismissing Comissiong’s comments that the parents of Alma Parris, which catered for over 100 students but only had 60 students on roll, should take the ministry to the law courts, Linton said: “Why should you take legal action? I think the ministry is trying their best. . . . If they aren’t trying to help them, they wouldn’t do what they are doing.”

The couple also said that they failed to understand why parents were so shocked by the closure announcement since it had been rumoured for four years now.

While agreeing that the ministry handled the closure poorly, Andrea Kirton also chastised those parents who attended last Thursday’s meeting.

“They [ministry] are still finding places to put the children, they didn’t leave them abandoned. These are children that really can’t write their names, so they are helping them, putting them in places that they can do skills and sending them back to schools. They didn’t leave them on the streets to handle guns,” said Kirton, whose son will be attending BTVB.

“I ain’t complaining, instead of straying about the place, going and handle drugs . . . they go and learn something because the drug lords looking for those little boys that haven’t learned, that [are] slow learners, to go and put guns in their hands. So I am still glad they handled it this way,” she told Barbados TODAY.

21 Responses to Alma Parris parents reject Comissiong’s legal advice

  1. Carmela Charles
    Carmela Charles July 11, 2017 at 12:05 am

    Happy to see that the Parents are pleased with the outcome.

  2. Veronica A. Piggott
    Veronica A. Piggott July 11, 2017 at 12:11 am

    Cud dear

  3. Veronica Wiggins
    Veronica Wiggins July 11, 2017 at 5:56 am

    The parents are right. You Sir always cause contention where ever you go.

  4. Angela Howard-Graham
    Angela Howard-Graham July 11, 2017 at 5:59 am

    Boo Boo tek tha

  5. Elvin Brome
    Elvin Brome July 11, 2017 at 6:18 am

    Want to put his mouth in every thing

  6. JOHN WINSTON KING July 11, 2017 at 6:44 am

    Good move made by the Ministry of Education. This should bring more status to those Children who are re-assigned to a better environment. Away from the exhaustion from the bus Terminal above the school and other social factors which inhibits them even more.

    These children now have the opportunity to learn even more from others in there new surroundings. I am convince that they will do better in the School Term ahead.

    Congrats to the Ministry

  7. JOHN WINSTON KING July 11, 2017 at 6:50 am

    CORRECTION. of error

    I meant their new surroundings

  8. JOHN WINSTON KING July 11, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Good move made by the Ministry of Education. This should bring more status to those Children who are re-assigned to a better environment. Away from the exhaustion from the bus Terminal above the school and other social factors which inhibits them even more.

    These children now have the opportunity to learn even more from others in their new surroundings. I am convinced that they will do better in the School Term ahead.
    Congrats to the Ministry

  9. The Don July 11, 2017 at 7:35 am

    The location of the school is really terrible for that type of child. Too many distractions to begin with. Also people complaining about 16 year old children being offered places in skills training? SMH….. What else will they be doing if not that? When an advisor appears to whine about everything the government does, soon no one will take you seriously. You do not have the answer for everything.

  10. Bajan boy July 11, 2017 at 8:33 am

    We are such an iliterate people..

  11. Helicopter(8P) July 11, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Parents rule in this case ; once they are contented and happy let sleeping dogs lay!

  12. Hunte Omar
    Hunte Omar July 11, 2017 at 9:39 am

    It is in the best interest of those students that they are expeditiously accommodated to avoid the negative comments from ignorant members of the public. To draw on this given the type of school and the negative attitude majority of Barbadians have towards certain schools, would do more harm than good. It often boggles my mind, as adults we are failing to set the right example to our children , when dealing with issues.

  13. Kathy July 11, 2017 at 9:43 am

    I am so glad to see that we still have right thinking people in Barbados. This gentleman runs around this sweet island trying to stir up contention with his unsolicited advice. He need to take a seat and shut up.

  14. Michael Turton
    Michael Turton July 11, 2017 at 10:29 am

    David is trying to teach Bajans not to lie down and take whatever is thrown at them; fight the battle even if you lose. When the ministry put those child in main stream education, it is just filling its obligation to place the children and not doing anything positive for the children out of caring, unless a special curriculum is put in place for them they will be at a disadvantage and will fall behind and be forgotten. Bajans you are not cockroaches that just rollover pun ya backs, cock ya foot in de air and die……stand up for ya rights. This is a backwards move.

  15. Patrick Dottin
    Patrick Dottin July 11, 2017 at 10:33 am


  16. Patrick Dottin
    Patrick Dottin July 11, 2017 at 10:37 am

    He has been rejected by every political party in Barbados, he is been used by the opposition

  17. Michael Turton
    Michael Turton July 11, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Many black people would have called Malcolm X, Dr King and other civil rights leaders troublemakers and curse them for upsetting the status quo …….today we have black doctors, lawyers,educators, congressmen etc.. we had had a black president. The system has to be challenged when bad decisions are made. I salute David Comissiong for the stance he has taken as an activist and representer of the people.

  18. Kathy July 11, 2017 at 10:47 am

    This man seems to think that he is the only one in Barbados with a law degree. Always meddling in affairs that have nothing to do with him. He needs to take a seat, shut his mouth and mind his own business. Thank God these parents are reasonable.

  19. jrsmith July 11, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Many black people would have called Malcolm X and Dr ,King trouble makers , you think this was because of black people protesting, look at the (US) today blacks are worst of than they were 50 years ago ….. Blacks in the (US) have a constitution , bill of rights and so call civil rights …… but what rights have they being shot down like rabbits by the police … when they are not using the black brothers and sister as target practice……………
    …………………………This man is going to get our nation in trouble one day and all he will do get on a plane to the one of the lower islands … This matter is showing bajans that what ever they do the politicians have no respect for black bajans…. they do what they like when they like because, they are not (Accountable ) to the black masses , the people who vote they wankers in to power…..
    Do you see any of the 1% complaining about anything , (nah ) they are ok ,they dont even vote and in more control than our crooked politicians…………………………..

  20. BIGSKY July 11, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    This man is a good man.The Ministry had ample time to hold meetings with parents to inform them of the fate of the school.

  21. jay don July 12, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    People so backward lol. I can’t believe the comments i’m reading. The Government closes a school based towards the needs of the children who cannot main stream education. Then close the school and put them back in main stream education without the development of a special curriculum ??? How is that best for those children? That the gov trying to save money at the expense of the children. People got to get out of this backward mentality.


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