OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: Farley did the right thing

Reverend Errington Massiah,

Added 26 October 2012

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. – Matthew 18:6 Why all the fuss and debate about Matthew Farley, principal of the Graydon Sealy Secondary School, sending home 265 students? Those students broke the school rules! I am support Farley 100 per cent. When he sent home those children he was not operating according to his own whims and fancies, but was doing so within the Education Act. The problem is that we Barbadians find all types of excuses for wrongdoing and indiscipline. Lest we forget, Farley is moulding and shaping young minds, and we cannot allow them to do as they please. If we do not correct those bad habits at school level, when and where are we going to correct them? At Her Majesty’s Prisons Dodds, St Philip? Too often we allow things to get out of hand before we act. I am saying that now is the time for Farley and all principals in our schools to act and to sing from the same hymn book. When we look at those 265 students who were sent back home – what do we find? 27 were first formers, 49 second, 63 third, 48 fourth, and 85 fifth formers, including 22 returning. What really caught my attention was the 27 first formers, who have just left the primary system! Should Farley have just left them to do what they feel like? When school principals enforce the rules some say they are flexing their muscles for show. But school is to teach our children to understand that rules are to be upheld and to appreciate that there are consequences when those rules are broken. That is how the real world is and the school is supposed to prepare our children for the real world! If we let them get away with small things, then they will look to get away with bigger things.

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