Follow the rules!
Follow the guidelines of the school. That is the message to students from Minister of Education Ronald Jones following a lock-out at the Daryll Jordan Secondary School Sports at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex Sunday.
This action was manned by principal Stephen Jackman after students were said to be dressed inappropriately to attend their athletic meet ahead of the Barbados Secondary Schools Athletic Championships in March.
On arrival yesterday morning students were scrutinised by a number of people who decided whether or not they were suitable to be allowed entry.
When contacted, Jones explained that the decision in terms of dress code for sports rests with the school and not the Ministry of Education.
“There is a standard set by the particular school because some children can use it as a licence to go to some extreme in their attire. Even if you are at sports, you should be well dressed. There are some privileges children enjoy but it is a privilege, not a right. It is set by the school and they are informed as to how they should dress to come to sports,” said Jones.
“If you don’t follow those directions is when the school reserves the right to deny you coming into sports. The sports are the sports of the school and the children are under the same level of discipline and guidance as if they were in the classroom or at school on that day. School is in session, but it is at sports.”
After being denied access at sports yesterday, some Daryll Jordan Secondary pupils resorted to congregating in camps on the outside of the complex before campus security was summoned to chase them away.
However, when that proved futile the Royal Barbados Police Force was called to get the children to leave.
Long after, the children were seen pacing outside the complex and even resorted to watching the day’s events from University Drive.
Sources said that although a number of children appeared presentable wearing T-shirts and jeans, the principal preferred a shirt with the school crest.
When approached, Jackman told NATIONSPORT he doesn’t speak to the media on disciplinary matters within the school.
The Minister of Education said though he was unaware of what was asked of the students, he believed they should be given admission once they were appropriately dressed and could be recognised.
“[They should be allowed] once students are appropriately attired and can be identified as belonging to that school because that’s the individual school sports, but I am sure that the school would have informed them as to how they should attend sports. Most likely they would have been told that if you don’t come appropriately attired you wouldn’t be admitted,” Jones said.
“There is always a balance. You cannot allow the students to establish anything that they want because anything goes, so the school still has to maintain discipline wherever those children are. It’s unfortunate, but standards must be . . . there is a bit too much indiscipline, even at sport.
“Discipline must be kept. You’re coming, dress appropriately; you’re leaving to go back home, go the same way you left home. You can’t keep changing and shifting standards, and nobody has it right. They went up on the hill and looked down. They made that choice, unfortunately. Follow the guidelines of the school.”
It is understood that during assembly, students were admonished not to wear distressed jeans [jeans with rips], back-out, tight clothing or three-quarter jeans and to wear the school shirt with the crest, or they would not be admitted. (RG)