EDITORIAL: Peace dove well needed at Alexandra
. . . In serving the best interests of children, we serve the best interests of all humanity. – Carol Bellamy, executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund.
There is too much angst at Alexandra School – much more among the Queen Street, St Peter school teachers than its mostly diligent students – but an extremely strong feeling of anxiety and dread nonetheless.
That the 30 former striking teachers all elected not to be part of principal Jeff Broomes Easter Academy for CXC students paints a picture of more than a thousand words. It raises too the question: is reconciliation so intractable?
Not even compromise – temporary as it might be – will be offered as an example of conflict abeyance. Cannot the anger among teacher adults be suspended until such time as Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has completed his work on, as Ms Mary Redman has put it, “the situation in the way that he and the union [BSTU] have negotiated”?
That Ms Redman’s former striking 30 had been pressing for Mr Broomes’ “separation” from them and Alexandra’s students is no good reason to contribute to the “invidious position” in which they themselves recognize the students might be placed.
We take no sides between the 30, and the principal and his faithful; we, again, are concerned with the welfare of the children of Alexandra School and the unnecessary stress they may be put under.
Teachers, principal and all, have a bounden duty to put the interest of their charges above all else – including their own egos and their own personal pain. Otherwise, they might be better off in another profession – politics, perhaps.
Kofi Annan, a former United Nations secretary general, once opined that there was “no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children . . . . No duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace”.
We add that another important duty is the guaranteeing of our students’ smooth education and of the sumulation within school of that peace in which our nation’s children are to exist.
We wager not what Stage 2 will be at Alexandra School. However confident Ms Redman may be that the Prime Minister is taking the exact road she envisions and counts upon – and which anticipation she keeps pronouncing – we know it is not often wise to anticipate Mr Stuart’s utterances.
Still, until whatever form final resolution takes at Alexandra School, compromise in the students interest must be the bitter pill to swallow. Such conduct could be the ultimate test of the kind of Barbadian society that we as adults will leave our children.