BSTU demands meeting with Jones, or else

The Ministry of Education has been given until Tuesday to meet with the representatives of the island’s teachers to discuss the worrying rise in school violence or face the wrath of the educators.

Scores of teachers gathered at the National Union of Public Workers headquarters at Dalkeith, St Michael from 1 p.m .today, where a unanimous decision was taken to present the Ronald Jones-led ministry with the ultimatum.

During what was a rare opportunity for the media to listen in for most of the session, at which passions ran high at times, the teachers also moved to call out their membership to a meeting on Wednesday if the ministry dismisses their demand.

“We are going to give this as an ultimatum and the understanding, since the ministry has a way of ignoring our ultimatums, if that ultimatum is not met then we are going to have to do something about it,” said BSTU President Mary Redman, who accused the ministry of not caring for the welfare of teachers.

“I see that the ‘something’ will require a mass meeting on Wednesday the 21st to finalize where we go from here,” Redman said.

She emphasized the fact that nearly two years after Minister of Education Ronald Jones promised to establish a committee on violence in schools, nothing has happened in this respect, adding that should Jones agree to the meeting, the union would again call for such a committee.

Today’s meeting came a week after the BSTU was kicked out of a two-day meeting between teachers of Grantley Adams Memorial School and the ministry, which was held at the behest of the union following a stabbing at the school, which left four students nursing injuries. At the time Jones had accused the BSTU of showing up to the talks “willy nilly”, without an invitation.

“I would encourage that rather than persons just turning up willy nilly at a school that nobody just walks off the street and walks into a private sector organization. Somehow people believe that they hear an accident happen at the school and they just walk onto the school. We are not encouraging that. No, not at all,” the minister had said.

“We don’t just walk off the street and come to your workplace and bother anybody. We cannot encourage that because it leads to the further breakdown of the respect that we all need. It is not because we are called public they can do that. When it is a private school they call first and speak to the principal, but somehow people believe that we are called public and they can just show up. It is protected space,” Jones stressed.

This afternoon the outspoken BSTU head said this was yet another example that the minister cared nothing about the well being of his employees.

Making reference to Monday’s stabbing at St Leonard’s Boys’ School which left two 16-year-old students nursing injuries, Redman told the teachers it was time that they took their safety into their own hands.

“As we continue to say, the ministry shows no interest in our well-being and safety. They have shown no caring and we have to let them know that we care about ourselves even if they don’t,” she said.

Four schoolboys – two 15-year-olds and two aged 16 – appeared in court today in connection with Monday’s stabbing and were charged with causing a disturbance at an educational institution.

Meanwhile, Dawn Grosvenor-Davis, the union’s first vice president, accused the ministry of attempting to put blame for the incidents on the teachers, and not the children, charging that in correspondence this week the ministry was seeking to investigate the teachers.

“It is a full inspection with immediate effect. It is not for the troubled children but instead it calls for an examination of the management structure, the systems, a departmental analysis of the curriculum, strategies used in teaching, materials used to enhance learning and the assessment of learning outcomes,” said Grosvenor, who suggested that this could be a ploy to transfer some teachers.

During the meeting several teachers also voiced concern with being asked to search children’s bags, stating this was outside their area of training.

Many said they feared reprisals from some students, and suggested that the ministry hires trained security personnel or enlist the police to carry out the searches.

This position was supported the Barbados Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools (BAPPSS), which said in a statement released this afternoon, that “teachers should not be charged with the responsibility of reforming violent offenders”.

“We have to admit that a minority of our students need medical and or sociological interventions from other professionals in our society on a more consistent basis and in a more structured way.  Our call therefore, is for greater use to be made of the facility set up to do this and for additional facilities to be added if the demand is there,” the statement said.

16 Responses to BSTU demands meeting with Jones, or else

  1. Realist February 15, 2018 at 6:24 am

    Intelligent people should stop from meeting with this nincompoop Ronald Jones. On hindsight, you really don’t have a choice…do ya?

    • Big Man February 15, 2018 at 6:18 pm

      Mary Redman why you did not go ahead and retire,
      yuh gine drop down dead on the job from heart attack
      Guh long home and enjoy yuh latter days
      You ain’t got nuh husband to guh home and enjoy life wid
      or you just want to a Red Ants humbug.

  2. andy g February 15, 2018 at 10:11 am

    the only way school violence will stop is when kids stop doing it.I am in my sixties and had seen stabbing in schools during my time.Blaming government is bs whether it dlp (as blpites blaming jones) or blp.It’s the students themselves to walk away or walk away is cowardly so you retaliate. this is life normalcy. Is it not happening in wider society? check the usa. metal detector in every school. still guns and knives finds they way inside.

  3. TOMMY A February 15, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Mary I know you lied before about how teacher deal with student in the usa,but this what happens in NYC:School safety is under the NYPD.two or three are always at every school.and ramdomly from early in tne morning ,you will see a van load or two of them deployed at a school to check the kids and their school bags .they are placed around the school to make sure nothing is handed thru a fence or window.still this will not stop violence or weapons entering because you wont find that deployment the same place every day,and students know if it is done two successive days it wont be three.

  4. Nathaniel Samuels February 15, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Great word for Jones. Nincumpoop. The man loves ‘jonesing’ and it is time that the people in his constituency let him know that what he has represented and how he represents the people is not good enough.
    Now the teachers need to let him know that their safety is paramount if they are to continue to teach our children. Jones and company are very unfair and unaccommodating especially when we realize that they were union people and even held the highest position in the organization.
    They are shallow and do not want others to be seen to be doing well.

  5. Jennifer February 15, 2018 at 11:30 am

    The Government trending, the unions trending, the teachers trending and the school children trending too.

  6. Carson C. Cadogan February 15, 2018 at 11:53 am

    More blackmail from the teachers.

    But I dont understand it, the management and teachers of our schools are failing to protect the student bodies of their schools, yet all the emphasis seem to be on teacher safety.

    While the fact of the matter is, that the students, not the teachers, are the ones facing the business ends of knives, and scissors and whatever else.

    No one gives a hoot about our students????

  7. Carson C. Cadogan February 15, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    To be quite honest, I blame some of the teachers, Mary, the teachers Unions, Mia Amor Mottley, Kerry Simmons and in general the Barbados Labour Party for violence in schools.

    Some teachers at the drop of a hat walk off the job and head to Queens park to sit under trees instead of remaining in schools to teach our children as they are being paid to do. they had no permission to do so but they did so none the less. Illegal activity on their part.

    Mary redman with monotonous regularity disrespects The Hon. Minister of Education and education officials, her bosses. Mia Amor Mottley is constantly disrespecting the The Right Hon. Prime Minister and the office of the Prime Minister. Kerry Simmons using disgusting words to describe our Hon Prime Minister. The entire Barbados Labour Party encouraging mayhem in the country.

    Our children are sitting and watching this deluge of disrespect for those in authority in Barbados by adults and members of the Barbados Labour Party and they are soaking it in.

    As a result of what they they see, they too now have no respect for each other. The adults in schools and especially in the Barbados Labour Party show them very POOR examples to follow and emulate.

    There was a time in Barbados when Teachers by and large had common sense.

    Now most of them are now like sheep being led clueless persons

  8. Carson C. Cadogan February 15, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    If you plant Okras, then dont expect to reap sweet potatoes.

    • Jennifer February 15, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      That would make the planters the problem and not the reapers. Poor soil, poor fertiliser, poor watering, equalling poor growth, and poor fruits/Vegs.

      • Carson C. Cadogan February 15, 2018 at 12:49 pm


  9. Carson C. Cadogan February 15, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    the last line should be ::

    “”Now most of them are like sheep being led by clueless persons””

  10. Jennifer February 15, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Problem is that in BIM and the wider Caribbean the lions are being led by the miniscule sheep and goats.   Hahahaha no wonder.

  11. Alex Alleyne February 15, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    After that it will be the SUPERTENDANT at DODDS.

  12. Roverp February 15, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Carson life is not about the DLP

  13. Greengiant February 15, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    Mary Redman and the teachers need to engage with the Attorney General, and the R B P F.

    Let the police address the issue of institutional security for schools with the Ministry. Let the security begin on the streets, terminals and on the buses. The searches and security has to begin before these students get to school.

    The security of every person in this country is the responsibility of the R B P F, engaging the Ministry of Education is just drawing the battle lines. The employees of the ministry, like teachers are educators, the officers are trained national security professionals.
    The teachers union needs non emotional leadership.


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