Concern over school conduct
TOO?MANY children are using Facebook and Twitter to hurt and demoralise their friends, says school principal Jeff Broomes.
He is also concerned about the rise in gang fights among girls on public transportation.
Broomes expressed those concerns at the awards ceremony of Alexandra School yesterday morning.
Speaking in the school hall before a packed audience that included chief executive officer of the Small Business Association (SBA), Lynette Holder, Broomes said these behaviours were impacting on every school in the country, noting that Alexandra was not immune.
“The leaders in our profession and in our country must see the need to address the unseemly and sometimes unconcerned displays of teenage sexual behaviour in schools, displays of heightened antisocial behaviour, including gang fights – mainly among girls – on public transportation and a flagrant misuse of the different social media in an attempt to inflict insults, hurt and pain by way of coordinated cyber bullying,” he said.
Broomes implored parents and teachers not to hide from their responsibilities.
“I challenge all educational and national leaders to create an approach based on student leadership and positive engagement and the modelling of acceptable behaviours from responsible adults that is consistent and ethics-based,” he said.
He called for a dedicated attempt at core values inculcation within the various content areas of the school’s curriculum “as well as a focus on developing an appreciation of the challenges and benefits of the unfolding use of technology, including the social media such as Facebook, Twitter,
My Space, while giving students a clear knowledge of acceptable use protocols for the developing and impressionable teenage mind.”
Alexandra had an impressive year academically, with an overall CXC?pass rate of 82.09 per cent, the school’s highest pass rate in the last decade.
“You students have done me proud and have done yourselves, your school and your parents even more proud,” he said as he delivered his report for the 2009 – 2010 academic year.
Broomes, an educator for the last three decades, proudly told parents and members of the board of management that there had been positive movement at each grade level, with the Grade 1 passes improving by 15 per cent and the Grade 2 passes by about 28 per cent over last year.
On the other side of the spectrum, Grade 4 passes declined by 28 per cent and Grade 5s by 45 per cent. He added that 82 per cent of the students graduated with four or more certificates, with 41 of them attaining seven or more passes.
According to Broomes, not one child left school without CXC?certification.
The school principal made special mention of Katrina Edwards, who graduated with nine Grade 1 passes, including six distinctions. Broomes said the “unassuming” Edwards was also the proud recipient of a Chevron scholarship to attend the Global Youth Leadership Conference in Washington, DC and New York.