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    September 23

  • 02:12 PM

Recalcitrant parents

Corey Worrell,

Added 25 October 2012


Are the students at the Graydon Sealy Secondary School the only ones in the nation’s public secondary schools who continue to breach the dress code, or are the other principals turning a blind eye to this indiscipline? In October of 2010, October of 2011 and October of 2012, I wrote articles stating my disappointment with parents for encouraging their children to break school rules and my full support of principal Matthew Farley. Parents can’t go to their places of employment wearing whatever they want, yet they encourage children to some extent to do just that. Why don’t these same parents go down by the Supreme Court and argue over their dress code for entering that establishment? It seems like we have babysitters caring for our nation’s children. We need more parents. There is a constant argument that “school clothes” have nothing to do with learning. If that is so, then there should be no problem in the children following the school rules. Why is it that you argue for the wrong thing when the right thing in your view reaps the same results? School rules are there to instil discipline and morality in the lives of our children. In my opinion, a child who abides by the rules while in school would be more likely to abide by the rules in the workplace and nation. In 2007, while attending a Commonwealth conference in Uganda, I, along with others, was invited to meet President Yoweri Museveni. Many Ugandan schoolchildren were at the conference centre, and to my surprise all of the females had all their hair cut off. Now, I am not suggesting this be done here but that was the rule to go to school and they followed it. What is our problem? Based on information shared by Mr Farley in the SUNDAY SUN, the Barbados Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools (BAPPS), in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, agreed to have a standardized dress code implemented across the school system. What I need to know is if BAPPS and the ministry have also agreed to a common form of discipline for breaching the dress code. Some parents had a unique opportunity to teach their children how to respectfully communicate their displeasure with the decision made by the principal but made a mess of that opportunity. I was also very disappointed with the response of many Barbadians who immediately began their criticism of Mr Farley, solely based on the information – just the views of parents – published in the newspapers, which were just the views of the parents. Below is part of my contribution to a discussion I had on my Facebook page concerning the issue (October 17 at 10:48 p.m.): “We have only heard the views and opinions of the parents . . . . “We cannot assume that the uniform the girl is wearing in the picture is the same uniform she was wearing when she was suspended. “We cannot assume the information that is being shared by the parents or the students is indeed accurate. “We must wait to hear from the school and principal as well so we can make a more informed contribution.” Please correct me if I am wrong but based on my observation, since Mr. Farley defended and outlined his decision and the events that led to it, none of the parents who were ranting and raving have returned to the media to discredit what Mr Farley said or did. Where there are no rules, boundaries or established disciplinary procedures, there will always be confusion. On another note: can someone please confirm the truth or otherwise of rumours that my alma mater the Christ Church Foundation School is up for a name change? • Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth youth ambassador. Email coreyworrell@gmail.com.


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