Bullying will not be tolerated, says Education Minister
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday May 23, 2011 – Education Minister Ronald Jones has broken his silence on the much debated issue of bullying in schools.
He stressed that there would be zero tolerance of this type of behaviour in schools and if need be, those disruptive influences would be removed.
Jones said the Ministry of Education was exploring a number of options to address the issue of bullying, among them the establishment of an educational custodial institution to "protect the majority from a violent minority".
Jones was adamant that he would not allow schools to be taken hostage by a misguided few.
"I want to be a vigorous campaigner, I cannot stand for nonsense...I will break the back of this behaviour in our schools," he said
Citing the complaint of one parent who said her son was being harassed at school, and had to hand over his lunch money each day, the Education Minister said that too many children suffered in silence from constant harassment.
"I am angry. No parent should have to call me early one morning to say their son is suffering from these indignities... I am bothered by this," he asserted.
Commenting on a recent video posted on Facebook of one student being bullied, Jones said he was extremely disheartened that such an incident could take place among school children.
"When I saw it, I became extremely disappointed. You cannot seek to destroy the character of someone...and then a child with a cell phone recording this demeaning aspect,” he said.
The Education Minister laid the blame squarely at the feet of some parents who refused to play an active role or take interest in the activities of their children, placing undue pressure on the school system.
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