Grant: Don’t blame Jones

A candidate for the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has rushed to the defence of Minister of Education Ronald Jones, who has come under fire from the teachers’ unions following a cutlass attack at the Ellerslie Secondary School this week that resulted in a 17-year-old student losing a finger, coming close to losing a second, and suffering several chop wounds to his right hand.

Jones has yet to speak on the bloody attack, believed to have been prompted by an attack on the assailant two weeks earlier, that left him battered and bruised.

However, social activists and DLP candidate in St Michael South East Rodney Grant said instead of pointing fingers at Jones, the unions should take a look in the mirror because they have been making unreasonable demands.

“The unions themselves have to take some of the blame because they create conflict and tension in the society by pushing for things that are unreasonable. They make people believe that they can get things that don’t exist. So we have to stop preparing people for things that are not reachable because that only creates tension. The unions really need to check themselves and stop this individualism,” Grant told Barbados TODAY on the sidelines the DLP lunchtime lecture.

The Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union  (BSTU) responded to Wednesday’s incident by repeating a demand for a high level meeting to discuss violence in schools.

BSTU President Mary Redman was especially critical of Jones, complaining that it had been more than a year since the Jones-led Ministry of Education had promised talks on the matter but nothing had happened since.

The Barbados Union of Teachers also weighed in on the issue, calling on the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Defence and the Attorney General’s Office to take urgent action.

Jones, who last April announced he would establish a broad-based committee to investigate violence in schools, but has yet to act on his pledge, told Barbados TODAY this morning that he would address Wednesday’s incident when he visits Ellerslie on Monday.

However, Grant contended that the problem of violence in schools could not be approached from a one-dimensional perspective, but rather an overhaul of the social layers which impact on today’s youth.

“We need to talk about all of the different layers of socialization, the family and the community. So it is not a problem of just pointing fingers at one particular aspect. It is not as easy as that. A lot of the young people are learning violence from their elders. They see conflict being played out in their homes, played out in their communities and this sub-culture which is now taking over communities and societies is now finding itself within the schools,” he said.

“It is a difficult thing to pull back because when you look at most parents, they themselves are losing the battle with their own children. This has to be the first point of reference if you are going to talk about resolving the problem,” he added, while acknowledging that the Ministry of Education needed to implement a filtering system to ensure that students who were not academically inclined were not frustrated.

“We recognize that a lot of our young children going into the schools are actually failing and that is because we have no methodology in the schools to deal with those children who are not academically inclined. We need to be able to deal with them from early and not after the fact,” Grant stressed.

26 Responses to Grant: Don’t blame Jones

  1. hcalndre November 25, 2017 at 2:25 am

    @Grant: all the talk about blaming the Union, when the parent take the matter to court tell me if the Union is going to be mention in the law suit as a defendant? I`m certain that it will be Board of Ed.

  2. David Hall November 25, 2017 at 2:46 am

    Mr Grant must be joking. How could it be wrong for the unions not to be angry for he ministers refusal to meet with them for more than a year to discuss this vexing issue of violence in schools. The current Minister of Education has reportedly been granted more money than any other ministry within the last 10 years to find solutions in education. Yet, ten years on and everything is arguable much worse. Ironically, DLP faithfuls throw blame at the university for failing at the tertiary level when the government has completely lost it a primary and secondary level. That is amazing. lets face it the man and all his tactics are glaring failures.

  3. James Austin Bynoe
    James Austin Bynoe November 25, 2017 at 3:38 am

    A “Good” man … On the wrong team .. SMH

  4. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall November 25, 2017 at 5:12 am

    Only last election when you was a bee campaign manager the Dems was no good.
    It’s really true that some people feel that bananas got Short Memories.

  5. Jennifer Phillips
    Jennifer Phillips November 25, 2017 at 6:45 am

    Damn idiot

  6. Dale Black
    Dale Black November 25, 2017 at 7:23 am

    I continue to say this party needs a real person trained in publc relation speaking cause everytime sum a dem open dem mout bare sh*te does be coming out the the prime minister only failings is he is either a weak leader r he his stubborn cause a lot a these minister should have been reshuffled awhile ago starting with the ineffective minister of education just saying

    • Randolph November 25, 2017 at 8:23 am

      The PM should reshuffle himself too.

  7. Olutoye Walrond
    Olutoye Walrond November 25, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Rodney, I really think to point at the unions as a defendant in this issue is way off mark. What unreasonable demands have the unions been making? Is it unreasonable to ask for meetings with the Ministry of Education to discuss issues affecting Teachers? We won’t expect you to say it, but it is an incontestable fact that this ministry under Ronald Jones has been an abysmal failure. We don’t blame him for what happened, but as overseers of education in Barbados he and his staff certainly have a role to play. He seems to think that role can be played by going all over the place making belligerent speeches.

    • Randolph November 25, 2017 at 8:26 am

      Jones is bombastic and noisy that’s all,but no substance.Agreed Olutoye.

    • Michael Turton
      Michael Turton November 25, 2017 at 1:32 pm


  8. Taurus Bull
    Taurus Bull November 25, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Was a good man,he is no longer! Any person that come from what we called grassroots communities and see’s a particular party sinking Barbados into the ground and still joins them can’t be no good, str888!! Don’t if it is B ,C or D!

  9. Greengiant November 25, 2017 at 8:26 am

    @James Austin Bynoe: You’re right, “a good man on the wrong team”, he should be with Solutions Barbados, not the BLP or the DLP.

  10. Randolph November 25, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Good point Taurus, he’s an opportunist.

  11. Michael Goodman
    Michael Goodman November 25, 2017 at 9:25 am

    What the hell do the unions have to do with a kid bringing a cutlass to school snd chopping off another’s finger?

    It seems the only thing DEM politicians are capable of doing is blaming everybody else for the problems in Barbados. At least that is ONE thing you all are good at.

    • Shirley Simpson
      Shirley Simpson November 25, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      You are right micheal , that’s what it is , no one wants to take responsibility so they blaming everybody else for the nonsense they did and still doing..smh .

  12. John Collymore November 25, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Mr. Grant, I will give you some advice. There are four types of evidence: Statistical, Testimonial, Anecdotal and Analogical. Can you tell us which of the four types of evidence you’re using to support your claims? Where is this data and from which source? Anytime you choose to speak in a public forum be prepared to produce the relevant scientific data to verify credibility least you forget the Bajan proverb about empty vessels keeping the most noise.

  13. milli watt November 25, 2017 at 10:35 am

    After these comments I can safely put a line through your name

  14. Adhim Muhammad
    Adhim Muhammad November 25, 2017 at 11:04 am

    I am not with you on this one at all granty, i will continue to say that yhe utterances of Ronald jones is one of the main causes of such violence and disobedience in our schools today.

  15. Mechell Springer
    Mechell Springer November 25, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    When is a good to time to blame a government/ minister? At what point should blame be laid? I ask because with increased regularity the print media carries a story where a person or persons at that level is reported as saying “You cant blame the Government or the Minister. Help me to understand please #aidasisteroutplease

  16. Ras November 25, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Yeah boy, Jones give the youth a cutlass and tell he take it to school

    Blame Jones
    It all starts in the home

  17. Michael Turton
    Michael Turton November 25, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Blaming and representing failure is not a smart way to start a political career. And, before you continue on your quest get a full understanding of the word “Leadership”, a word that your party totally don’t understand. In addition to alienating every teacher in this island, what initiatives have the Minister championed? Nine plus years of nothing.

  18. Kevin November 25, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    People always looking to blame people other than those responsible. I blame the attackers and their parents.

  19. Jack Ryan
    Jack Ryan November 25, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    honestly…dont blame jones .blame the principal at that school that is always absent like a 100$ these days.if he wants to be a soldier he should at paragon.cant be getting two salaries for two places and cant fullfil both obligations.

  20. Valarie Rock
    Valarie Rock November 25, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Oh! by the way Mr Grant, in the mean time the children going to school at Luther Thorne Primary School having difficulty crossing the road leading to Wildey Gardens.The bush on both sides needs cutting Sir! Are we going to wait until it is too late?

  21. Darson November 25, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Help me to Understand this ? what on Earth this has to do with the Minister . It be Jones or else , Has this behavior started on his watch ?, as i am checking on some old reports this is nothing new .Blame : Parents , Parents , Parents , this is where it is,
    Take note Barbados , Ever Religion and society starting a Private school : Why ? and soon one sector will remain to kill and Maim each other. Jones might be long gone but he did start this and we will not finish it : Zone the Schools and Keep them Close the home , Upgrade Primary schools to be Finishing schools and Skills Centers .

  22. Helicopter(8P) November 27, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Stay on point! The request for more plain clothes Island Constables to be on the beat is nesessary for the school children’s commute. The island constable is just as effective or better than the police since he or she is familar with their neighborhoods!


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