Members of the SJCK PTA met at the school in Kingstown on Thursday. Click to read story. (IWN photo)

The PTA of the St. Joseph Convent Kingstown (SJCK) says it supports the school’s decision to expel a 14-year-old Form 4 student who is said to have been rude to a teacher.

The student is said to have been transferred to Emmanuel High School Mesopotamia.

However, the court on Sept. 20 ordered that the student continue her education at SJCK until a lawsuit against the school’s principal, other education officials and the Ministry of Education is disposed of.

But teachers walked out when the student turned up for classes at SJCK last week Monday.

Teachers also called in sick on Tuesday but returned to class on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the student is said to have been placed in a Form 4 classroom that is different from the one to which she was reportedly assigned at the end of the last school year.

The school’s PTA met on Thursday and its president, Junior Bacchus, told I-Witness News that the meeting “gave full support to the efforts of the teacher and the principal”.

He said that the hundreds of PTA members who attended Thursday’s meeting “do wish to express our uncompromising support to the principal and staff in their effort to promote and maintain the highest level of discipline and respect for the good name of the convent.

“We wish to condemn any effort that seeks to undermine the determination of the teachers to instil respect for authority, obedience, honesty, truthfulness and good order,” Bacchus further told I-Witness News, as he read a statement which he said would be circulated to the media.

“We believe that no child should be allowed to get way with open defiance, disobedience and disrespect for authority at the school. Equality must be allowed to flourish,” he further stated.

“We believe that the best interest of the child is not served by judicial manoeuvring. We are satisfied that the school’s action is for the greater good of all our children and fully support the principal and her staff in the action taken thus far.

“We encourage all parents to work together with their teachers and the school administration to resolve disputes if or whenever they arise. We therefore support the teachers in the enforcement of the rules of the school with fairness and equality,” Bacchus further said.

3 replies on “PTA supports Convent’s decision to expel student”

  1. I was wondering how this matter really got to this stage where teachers were walking out of classrooms etc…and while I can’t say for certain, I suspect certain attention-seeking gadfly, had a role in instigating this “jihad” against this 14 year old. What does it say about our society, when grown folks are so mobilized to move heaven and earth just to inflict pain and suffering upon a child for the sake of satisfying some puritanical desire and the need for the limelight.

    What I am curious about is how and why folks are so willing to put jokers like Junior Bacchus on all sorts of committees? Wasn’t Junior Bacchus on some recent committee with the Building and Loan fiasco, representing the shareholders, talking a heap of nonsense? Is he not the President of the Police Co-operative Credit Union? Is he not the President of the Small Business and Micro Finance Co-operative? And here, he is the President of the PTA. And I am almost certain there are more committees and Co-operatives that I am missing. WTF, how many committees and Co-operatives, do one man want to be on? But I digress. Lets stick to this Convent issue and savor the absurd musings of the ubiquitous Junior Bacchus…“We wish to condemn any effort that seeks to undermine the determination of the teachers to instill respect for authority, obedience, honesty, truthfulness and good order,”…once again, let me ask, is Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, a nation of laws? How is the court undermining the determination of teachers? Are teachers words and actions now sacrosanct? WTF! What is so hard in accepting the court rulings and let the kid return to Convent until the issue is resolved? Are we so beholding to our f’ked up value system, that we can turned a blind eye to the epidemic rape and molestation of our females but we are steadfast in our determinations to crucified a 14 year old, guilty of youthful indiscretion? Are we not merciful. I do not condone the actions of this child, she ought to be disciplined. But I have to say in my heart and soul…what the child did, DO NOT DESERVE AN EXPULSION!!…There I said it. A SUSPENSION IS QUITE IN ORDER…AND MANDATORY COUNSELING MAY BE PART OF THE DISCIPLINARY ACTION. And that is the extent of punishment I am willing to hand down to this kid. All this bellyaching by Junior Bacchus and co…is totally unwarranted because, no one is getting away with anything; there is no greater good to be had here for our children;and most importantly, NO TEACHER should be walking out of the classroom in the first place…I can understand if the teacher who was offended, taking a stance in not having the child in her classroom…but any other form of protest by anyone else is an overreaction of the highest order.

    Regardless of the outcome of the case…I stand with this child. This child did not commit murder or put the lives of anyone in danger. Yes, what she wrote to the teacher was disrespectful and deserves punishment but being expelled is too drastic a punishment for the “crime” committed. When we are supposed to be moving heaven and earth to get what we want, we sit in our respective corners and whisper among ourselves…but we can get on our high moral horses for a 14 year old and talk all sorts of nonsense. Where were all the PTAS AND PRINCIPALS ASSOCIATIONS WHEN THE THREE TEACHERS WERE IN DESPERATE NEED OF YOUR UNWAVERING SUPPORT? I didn’t hear about teachers walking out of classrooms and calling in sick in solidarity with their fellow colleagues. Sometimes you have to wonder about the mindset of our people, cause the things we ought to be up in arms about, we are dead silent…but small matters that could easily be dealt with, we put up stern resistance and make a mountain out a mole hill.

    “I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.” ( Dr. Haim Ginott)

    1. Watching Hard says:

      I agree with every single word you said Teacherfang. Unfortunately though, your words are in vain. Too many Vincentians are unable to see our children and young people as individuals in their own right, fully entitled to their own negative and positive feelings. Too many Vincentians are unable to grasp that many of our children and young people do not have the necessary skills to manage adverse or stressful situations in a calm and thoughtful way. Too many Vincentians see our children and young people not as individuals, but as beings to be recreated in the tragically ruined images of their parents and other community elders. Rather than teach by example, encourage good habits and gently disapprove of anti social behaviour, too many Vincentians see our children and young people as merely wild horses to be broken. It is little wonder that we have so much dysfunction in our society. It is little wonder that our children, and by extension, our society, lacks that necessary self confidence to go out and claim their place in the world.

      I despair that we will ever look into the mirror.

  2. @Watching Hard…well said. Appreciate your comments very much. I think we cut from the same cloth..LOL.

    This issue just rubbed me the wrong way, especially the actions of the teachers, walking out of the classrooms…that crap so angered me, I was beside myself. Everyone it seems, showed no sympathy or understanding for the child;It was a do or die approach.

    I don’t know, we have lost our collective minds in Vincyland. Whether the courts agree to have this kid reinstated back to Convent or not…the damage is done in my book. This child will have a scarlet letter attached to her for the rest of her secondary schooling. I hope she is resilient enough to overcome this unfortunate episode in her young life.

    Peace.

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