Students Sent Home Parents Angry

Parents of several students attending the All Saints Secondary School are registering their dissatisfaction with the actions of the school’s principal, George Edwards, who ordered a group of students off the premises yesterday.

Reportedly, more than 50 third formers were asked to leave the school yesterday morning and not return until they had purchased paint to refurbish two classrooms on the third form block.

“I don’t have to defend my side. The fact of the matter is the students paint up graffiti on the wall and they are going to paint it,” Edwards said, when The Daily OBSERVER asked why the students, whose ages average 16 years, were sent home. “They cannot be in school until they come with the paint to paint it. They were told to paint it last week and they had until Monday.”

But the parents are contending that the principal could have handled the matter differently.

“Yes, the students should be held responsible for their actions, but they are not working, so how can the principal decide that my child should come up with the money to paint the classroom?” one parent, whose 15 year old was sent home, asked.

One irate father, who wished to be identified only as Richard, said someone from his village called him to inform him that his daughter was sitting on his gallery at home.

“Why weren’t the parents contacted? When you register your child, they take contact numbers. This happened since last year and my daughter just went to school because she is a post-primary student. If this happened since then what does this have to do with her?” Richard asked.

“I was so upset that he (the principal) even called police. How could he send home people young adolescent daughter? This man want(s) my child (to) go astray. Anything can happen because no adults are around,” he added.

Another father, who came to the school with his daughter, said he waited for more than an hour to speak with the principal while he was on the phone with ministry officials.

The parent said that he returned with his daughter to inquire as to why exactly his child was sent home.

“My daughter was not at school last Tuesday when he discussed it with them because she was sick. When she came back on Wednesday she didn’t explain it to me that they had to agree amongst themselves to purchase the paint and have the classrooms painted over the weekend,” he said.

Meantime, the aggrieved mother of another student expressed her frustration saying, “The principal must be crazy. How you could send children home for graffiti that have accumulated for some time? This was not done in one day. There was always filth on the walls and then when school closed, the principal said that they met more. The children were not in school so how can you hold them accountable for that?

“If Mr Edwards could single out it is my child then I wouldn’t even mind, but all those students on the street when them parents send them to school, it’s just unfair,” the woman added.

Around 9 am yesterday, scores of children were seen at the bus stop, some headed to their homes in the neighbouring villages while others were heading into St John’s.

“Them nah know who put the graffiti dey, but them ah say arwe haffu clean up. Me asthmatic and me cyarn manage no paint, so me ah go home,” one of the students told The Daily OBSERVER.

The students were required to provide paint in the colours white, grey and crackle stone, the three main colours of the building in question.

Calls to Senior Education Officer Clare Browne, who has responsibility for secondary schools, were unsuccessful and messages left with his secretary went unanswered at the time of going to press.

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42 thoughts on “Students Sent Home Parents Angry

  1. I agree with the Mr. Edwards, and as a youth, the principal did the right thing and took direct action. If he was to hold a meeting with parents, the classroom would have been still the way it was and this issue would have been pushed under the carpet…

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  2. Antiguan Blogger January 12, 2010 at 20:43 - Reply

    spot on American. Communication is not effected until the other party responds. What the principal needed to do is to require the parents to sign to say that they received his instructions in order to ensure that the message got to the parents. What resulted now is an ego trip. He basically sent the kids home to prove his point.

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  3. I support Nygma but what i want to find out when these kids are sent home and they go astray and the parents cannot find them who is responsible for them .

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  4. The Principal gave the students until friday to do the clean-up, it was those students responsibilies to communicate with their parents as they are old enough. I started attending secondary school at age 11 adn i had a situation where a window got broken, and my Principal spoke to me on the matter and i had to take it home verbally.

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  5. Some Parents and Students bought the paint/started painting. Are the bloggers saying that the principal was justified to send home the entire class or do Antiguans just love ugly?

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  6. it’s actually good to see that a lot of people has blogged about this. This is a touchy sitiation – on one hand I can see that exactly what the principal did was correct. WHY – tell me, how many people who are on this blog are parents? And if your child came home and told you that they wouyld have been sent home because of the above matter and moreso, even if the principal did send home a letter or call a meeting – how many parents would 1) attend the meeting 2) scream and shout and 3) THE MOST USED WORDs ” I PAY EDUCATION LEVY so mek dat pay” – i know of one parent who actually made that remak in a public forum.

    King Short Shirt said it best “AWAKE THE YOUTH MY SLEEPING COUNTRY”

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  7. When I went to one of the classrooms last Wednesday, the students told me that they were given until Friday (a holiday for secondary schools)to get the classroom painted. The graffiti I met on the floor, blackboard and walls was grossly inappropriate. I should not have stayed there, and no teacher should have gone into that classroom to teach until it was repainted. They were sent home on Monday (yesterday).

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  8. Sure right the students are not working but I am sure the parents are working ,so they should find the money and keep their students in school so , what is the problem, paint the school, when I WAS GOING SCHOOL MY BUTT WOULD PAY FOR THAT.

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  9. People are missing an important point. He sent the children home to do what? He could have at least contacted the parents of the children. He wanted to make a point and he has made his point so hopefully common sense can prevail now.

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  10. it still did not make that situation or this one right. and Antiguan Blogger said that some of th ekids were working on it but he still sent home all of the kids.

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  11. joe joe, your parents never discipline you? If no man admit their fault all pay. That is the rule

    Them chlidren had a whole week and is like they did not even have a plan to fix it. I am sure if they were working on it he might not have sent them home

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  12. i guess the principal acted out of frustration. no doubt he has his hands overly full each school day. this age group (adolescents) can be especially challenging. but most important here is that unless the home and the school work together, the child(ren) will not thrive. it’s no different to having parents at home who cannot agree how to care and control children. if each of them say something different, this is when you encounter problems. when i was in school, parents supported teachers. now it’s different in that their child is rarely in the wrong. i have not heard any of the parents say they asked their child if they are responsible for any of the damage. if the home and the school cannot work together, the child will lose out.

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  13. LOVE U LETHAL, U WOULD BE A GRAET JUDGE, THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A BETTER COUNTRY. AND PARENTS ASK QUESTIONS FIRST ARGUE LATER AND NOT INFRONT OF THE CHILDREN THEY MAY THINK WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS RIGHT. AND DAD THE INNOCENT HAS TO SUFFER FOR THE GUILTY.

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  14. all that and more January 12, 2010 at 12:08 - Reply

    (I CONTINUE) If I may use a little story to explain myself:This is a story about four people named EVERYBODY, SOMEBODY, ANYBODY AND NOBODY.There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody, when Nobody did what Anybody could have done. Keep up the tough approach and dicscipline. What you parents fail to do, will come back to bit you in the @£$.

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  15. all that and more January 12, 2010 at 11:48 - Reply

    The kids are watching the cable channels, and adopting the American way of life, and it has become a “What monkey see, monkey do”, but America has the money, equipment and the man power to deal with this problem of graffiti, which is often a distraction and an eye-sore. I fully support Mr. Edward, in taking a firm stand, to stamp out this unsightly mess, and whether or not the parents agree to his method of doing things, it had to be done (NOW).

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  16. Antiguan Blogger January 12, 2010 at 11:31 - Reply

    There were parents who contributed and the job was done but not satisfactorily(according to the principal). Was it wight to send home the children who participated in the painting exercise too?

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  17. outside looking in January 12, 2010 at 11:29 - Reply

    Mr Edwards way of getting results lacks proper leadership. He had never pinpointed exactly who did the deed, so to hold everyone hostage showed bad judgment on his path. Here is a situation if handled correctly would have been a learning experience for the entire school. First have a meeting with all of the students in the school. Have them look at the graffiti display and explain to them the dangers of defacing the school property. Let them know how irresponsible and demeaning such events can be to your house of education.
    Then ask all the students to make an effort to come to school one weekend and together paint the walls that were affected. In doing so, no one would have been singled out and instead of feeling like victims, those kids who had nothing to do with this deed would be doing a good service for the school. That would also bring awarness and make the student attentative for future graffity law breakers. Mr Ewards must be aware as an educator, one must be more creative and flexible to get results. Remember you are dealing with children and when you can bring them together in a possitive way the results can be very rewarding. Also the kids that actually did the deed, would think before doing it again, because they would know people are watching.
    Sent letters to the parents, informing them of what was going to be done and after all is done, send another letter to the parents, Letting them know how well their children did and how proud they should be of them.

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  18. As a responsible parent, whether my child painted the graffiti or not I would’ve taken it upon myself to contact the other parents and get the job done.(THIS IS CALLLED TEAM WORK.) it is unbelievable the attitude these parents are portraying. What message are they sending to their children? No wonder our once beautiful paradise is so messed up with crime. Parents, even though your child did not paint the graffiti please show some morals, get your children involved and solve the problem. I understand that you are upset about Principal Edwards’ action but please don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill.

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  19. The Principal seems a bit high handed to send all the students from the class home because they refused to paint the classroom. I cannot and will not support the innocent suffering for guilty scenario. He should have investigated the matter of who painted the graffiti and dealt with the wrong doers. When I was going to AGS our entire class was punished for some comments that were made by a particular student to a teacher. She did not know who said it so she punished us all, even though most of us did not hear the comment let alone know who said it. It was wrong then and it is still wrong now. The interesting thing is that it might have been and outsider(s) who committed the offense.

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  20. These comments just shows how much people in society have washed their from our children’s future. What Mr Edwards did was wrong, he should have contacted the parents and inform them rather than sending them home befor 9 am while their parents were at work.
    The students would have had at least 6 hours before they were expected home…anything could have happened in that lot of time. And not every child is in a gang, some of them just need guidance but i see society wont offer it. Mr Edwards YOU WRONG FU SEND PEOPLE PICKNEY HOME FU PAINT. punish them but that was truly unfair to parents who would have had to leave their jobs to inquire about their children.

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  21. The Principal should have sent them home with a note to the Parents, or notified the Parents in some other form. At least, they would not be using it as an excuse. The fact that the students knew about it for a week and came unprepared is a clear indication that they had no intention to clean up the classroom. How is it possible, that the Parents knew nothing about this?

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  22. The Principal should have sent them home with a note to the Parents, or notified the Parents in some other form. At least, they would not be using it as an excuse. The fact that the students knew about it for a week and came unprepared is a clear indication that they had no intention to clean up the classroom. How is it possible, that the Parents knew nothing about this?

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  23. Curious Onlooker January 12, 2010 at 09:51 - Reply

    Require all parents and custodians to place a refundable deposit of $50 – $100 for each child attending school. Let them know that any costs of repairs for vandalism to the classrooms will be charged against this fund. Now it is up to them to teach their pickneys to care for their school as if it were their own (which it is!).

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  24. i definitely agree with the principal’s dicission…especially since these children were given a whole week and still did nothing…IS WHAT THEY MEAN TO DO BECAUSE THEY THINK THEY BAD….i especially blame the parents because they are the ones encouraging these children because i know for a fact that the principal would have contacted them and told them what the children did…If i had my way some off these parents would pay the penalty for their kids wrong doings because again they are the ones encouraging this and some off them have NO REASONING FOR THEIE CHILDREN…which is why some of them end up in prison or dead…SEND THEM HOME I SAY THIS IS REDICULOUS THATS WHAT THEY GO TO SCHOOL FOR.let the ones who want to learn stay

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  25. It is very unfortunate that this situation has played out this way.

    Here is what I think should have happened:

    1) Meeting with students to discuss problem.

    2) Letters to parents to notify of problem and punishment – i.e. students will not be allowed to return to school until they paint the classroom.

    3) Meeting with parents to air any concerns and finalise plans.

    4) Implementation of punishment.

    5) Meeting with students and presentations from students, police and others on the issue. Explore the social, moral, financial, educational costs of graffiti. Also speak about the issues around gangs in Antigua.

    The idea that 50 students can’t come up with $140 (two gallons of paint) is ridiculous!

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  26. i agreed that the parents should have been notified first but look at their ages in the school that they are in they are there to learn this is at the turning point of ther lives they should had known better also they need too respect themselves what not theirs

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  27. Good stuff Principal Edwards. I hope the other Principals develop the same fortitude…and for you parent..children live what they learn. The children had a responsibility which they neglected…we are crying out for people to take responsibility and it starts from this age. Shame on you parents who vex!

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  28. The vast majority of responsible parents strive to raise responsible students, and if you were one of those parents whose child was sent home by one who we considered to be a responsible adult, without first contacting the parents and trying to come up with a reasonable and agreed way of solving this matter, you too would be appalled. Most of us parents, I’m sure, would have no problem with repainting the classroom; it is just one way of ensuring that our children are in a clean, well kept classroom. But one would have to admit that Mr. Edwards’ decision to send home the students were hasty and premature; and if in fact the graffiti were on the wall for over a year, then his punishment were unfair and misdirected.

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  29. when are these young children going to get their act together. they doing the same dumb crap like american children. the parents should take their child back to school, and give each one a royal beating in front of the whole school. then the money you use to buy the paint, tell that’s their lunch money for a month. maybe even give tham bread, butter and a bokkle of sugar water.

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  30. I agree with E.Nygma. The principal should have notified the parents from the onset. Oftentimes, it is our approach to a situation which helps to makes things worse.

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  31. E.nygma I assure you that even if the parents were informed, the end result would be the same cause none of them would think that their child had anything to do with the painting of graffiti on the classrooms walls.
    for your information; the report pointed out a sixteen and a fifteen year old who are apparently still in home roomed on the third form block. what does that tell you – not about the children but the parents who you say should be notified.

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  32. Principle Edwards should be highly commended and complimented for his actions, for all the parents who are complaining you should be ashamed. School is suposed to be the childrens sanctuary away from home, therefore it is incumbent on them to ensure that they keep it clean. It may be that some innocent child paid for the quilty but “by your companion you are known.” The principals of Pares Secondary and other such schools should man up and show some intestinal fortitude.

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  33. The principal should have held a meeting with the parents about coming up with the paint money and then organised a weekend to deal with the painting, his actions seem a bit hasty if u ask me, u cant send home students and their parents dont know whats going on

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  34. Antiguan in Canada, I support your argument. That statement alone justified the Principal’s action. I do not necessary support having so many students on the street at that time without their parents knowing, but I can tell you, it is more than time somebody stand up to these unruly, untrained, students, many of whom, please note, many not most, are gang members.

    Their parents are afraid of them, students are afraid of them, teachers are afraid of them, and even law officers as well, since some a related to or part of very powerful gangs here. We need our children back, we need our students back, we need our community back.

    Mr Edwards, I am glad that you took the first stance. One thing though, the parents should have been informed of the situation either by telephone, email, or mails prior to all of this, maybe at the end of the term.

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  35. The principal have all right to send them home. Even though some students may have never did any graffitti I am sure majority of them know who are responsible for them and they wont say a word. Now the parents upset please upset over painting a classroom where is your pride you should be happy that the classroom getting a facelift.

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  36. lethal is probably going to come with some kind of nonsense January 12, 2010 at 07:24 - Reply

    lethal is probably going to come with some kind of nonsense

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  37. I am sure these students have written graffiti on the walls and if some didn’t they know who did so they are all responsible. They are being thought collective responsibility. A young man was convicted in the high court last year for Joint enterprise for unlawful wouning with intent where a young mans arm was severed and what did he try to tell the court he was there but it wasn’t me who chopped off the guys hand. Their parents only knew of this yesterday when it has been going on for quite sometime. I know their are some students who know nothing about this but these acts are being done by your so call friends and classmates. I think the ministry should stand by the principal as he has taken this stance for the better it’s the only way he has a chance to stamp out graffiti.

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  38. Ican most certainly see why our school has become such a war zone.As it is qouted i the Bible train up a child in the way they should go so when he or she get old the would not depart from it.So clearly being responsible for their action was not taught at home ,if someone had done the same thing to these parents place of residence i wonder if they would say the same thing, be mindfull parents teach your kids the golden rule that we as individuals often forget do unto others as we wish then to do unto us .P.S the principle is on the right track keep up the good work.

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  39. Behind every delinquent child is a delinquent adult encouraging them to continue doing what is wrong and having them believe that they could do whatever they wish without consequences. No wonder we are raising a nation of hooligans. I am sure those parents were disciplined in various ways when they were children (including being flogged) and they could do not dare go home and tell their parents or they would get another round of punishment. God help us.

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  40. Antiguan in Canada January 12, 2010 at 05:51 - Reply

    It is a shame that the student quoted was unable to, or lacked sufficient sense to know to, speak proper English to the TDO reporter.

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