BVI News

Increased reports of teachers mistreating students following ‘detergent incident’ — Turnbull

Second ‘Mitch’ Turnbull addressing residents of Spooner’s Estate during a community meeting on Tuesday.

Since the recent incident in which a teacher was exposed for allegedly forcing a student to gargle a liquid cleaning detergent, more and more reports of educators mistreating students are coming to light, Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull has said.

Turnbull gave that indication during a community meeting for Spooner’s Estate residents on Tuesday night.

He said: “There have been some issues overall territory-wide surrounding education. There is the issue with the teacher with the alleged detergent thing [and] there are more stories coming out of different schools now about gross ills done with our students.”

Persons need to be held to account!

Turnbull did not go into details due to what he described as the ‘sensitive nature of the incidents’ and also because investigations are ongoing. 

However, the district representative — whose constituency the reported detergent incident took place — said: “That is something that we have to pay attention to, and we can’t just sweep things under the rug anymore.”

Turnbull further said: “We have to hold teachers, the system, the education department, the ministry and the government responsible because they are the ones responsible for our children.”

Probe launched into detergent incident

There was public outcry following reports of the liquid detergent incident. 

According to Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley in a JTV interview recently, the incident took place at the Ivan Dawson Primary School in Cane Garden Bay, Tortola late last month.

Dr Wheatley said since the reported incident, he has spoken to the school principal, the teacher in question and the mother of the student involved. 

“We at the ministry recognise that, certainly, something did take place,” Dr Wheatley said.  

He further said the matter would be reported to the Teaching Service Commission and an investigation launched.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Turnbull further said: “We have to hold teachers, the system, the education department, the ministry and the government responsible because they are the ones responsible for our children.”

    All those have their own responsibilities, but the most critical entity that has the ultimate responsibility are the parents and home.

    Educators are called to inculcate, therefore, children must come prepared to be inculcated with the requiste manners, respect for authority, a sense of why they go to school and a sense of the behaviors expected pf them while in school.

    The core cause of bad teacher student. child relations today are the absence of respect for authority and adults, good manners and misdirected sense of purpose.

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    • @ Anonymous says:

      While I agree with and understand your points, I do not believe that it is fair to base your analysis solely on the fact that “The core cause of bad teacher student. child relations today are the absence of respect for authority and adults, good manners and misdirected sense of purpose.”

      For as long as I can remember, teachers have verbally and physically abused our children at times, so this is not a new problem in our society. Our children aren’t always to be blamed when things like these happen. I know of incidents where teachers would tell girls that “they will be just like their mother – always on their back” or even body shame and embarrass children in front of their peers. There are a lot more incidents that I can give examples of, if time permitted.

      Not all children are bad and disrespectful and not all teachers are “teachers”.

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      • No Laughing Matter says:

        I could remember back in the 80s when a teacher told me I will be like so and so. Well, I made sure she ate her words. Anyway what happened later was a shock to me. One of her sons spent time in jail and another went a little loco. So who they ended up like? People we don’t know the future. Be careful of what wickedness you do to others.

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    • @ Anonymous says:

      The core cause of bad teacher student is not the absence of respect for authority and adults, good manners and misdirected sense of purpose. This is a fallacy.

      I am so tired of passing the buck with no accountability. Oftentimes, teachers and others alike are quick to defend the unacceptable behaviours of those who are put in place to lead by example.

      The ignorance of the “know-it-all” supporters of wrong doing is what is wrong with our society.

      Until we hold those who have done wrong accountable and not continue to deflect, then we would be a step in the right direction.

      Like 16
    • Ganga says:

      Pine Sol is useless. If you must correct misbehavior, use Fabuloso.

  2. Goodsense says:

    Don’t talk about the shouting…my God…teachers in the BVI SHOUT, they don’t teach. I am glad this matter has come forward to shed light on what is happening within the education system.

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  3. Clear view says:

    I have been observing Hon. Turnbull and other legislators over the years. If you take your time and pay attention people will reveal who they are to you. Hon. Turnbull is a very ambitious person who wants to hold power. You can see it. But he is also a person who like to stir things up. I watched him do with the last government. Here we have a situation that he should have addressed privately with the ministry officials, whether the minister, the education officers or whoever and look what he chose to do. Does he reasonably think that this would solve the problem or cause division and arguments between teachers, parents and students? It is all about politics and power for most of them including Hon. Turnbull. I am dispppinted but not surprised. All you have to do is look at his movements over the past years. Power hungry. Power at all costs.

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  4. TurtleDove says:

    @ Anonymous

    True but there are also limits, Washing your mouth out with soap is not intended to be literal. If true they went too far.

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    • @ Turtle Dove says:

      Of course, if true, that individual took the notion of discipline to far according to accepted todays’ standards.

      That mentality, now antiquated, unfortunately is from the 18th and 19th century form of discipline.

      Indeed, that form of or mentality was prevalent when most of those now approaching senior age were young ones.

      Was not surprised to hear it, and also know the extraordinary patience and behaviorial modification skills teachers need today just to survive one day in any given classroom, on any level, in our territory.

  5. Ausar says:

    And all these activities, are conducted by “teachers”, so-called “educated” professionals, who have taken an oath, to be the best that they can be, to the children in their care.

    No wonder, sooo many of our children hate school. Schools and their personnel have become the very “enemy”, that parents send their children to school to learn to stay away from, and how not to become!

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  6. Let's be fair. says:

    I notice we love as a community love to come down hard on our children when they misbehave and we have every right to because we want to see our children excel in all areas BUT Just as there are bad children there are bad teachers and we need to stop always making it seem like the children are the reason why some of these teachers react the way they do it’s unfair. We have some excellent teachers in our educational system but we also have some in there just for the pay check and really dont care whether these children succeed or not. Let’s hold both teachers and students accountable when a problem arise not just put the blame on the children alone or the teachers alone.

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  7. So glad this is out says:

    Now that this is out in the open. The other teachers who have put their hands on people children will think before they put their hands on another child. A neighbor of mine child said his teacher pinched him behind the neck real hard for not moving fast enough when she told him to get up from his seat to switch with another child. The mother was about to wait for the teacher in front of the school and beat the teacher with a tire iron. As a parent, I teach my daughter to always be respectful to her teacher and other adults. Some teachers will pick on students because they just don’t like the student or they don’t like the student parent for whatever reason.

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  8. @Anonymous says:

    I disagree with the following statement, “The core cause of bad teacher student. child relations today are the absence of respect for authority and adults, good manners and misdirected sense of purpose.”

    Some of these teachers go to school with bad attitudes and say all kinds of demeaning stuff to students about their parents without the students evening saying anything to the teacher. In these cases, the students are not disrespecting anybody. It is the teachers who are disrespectful and are not being held accountable for their actions and expect the students to remain quiet in the class and respect them.

    Like 21
  9. @@Anonymous says:

    Your disagreement is misplaced, because the fact is true and correct.

    Further, you assertion, where it occurs, and it certainly does according to you, is also correct.

    Hence, to disagree that children today are not disrespectful, does not respect authority and most adults, does not distinguish between an adult and a child their age is perhaps one indication why we have so much behaviorial issues in school.

    Such causes teacher frustration, resulting in words and comments being said that would otherwise not be said if the enviroment was conducive to learning, where teachers did not have to spend more time disciplining and managing disrespect and mis-directedness.

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  10. Confucius says:

    There is NO EXCUSE WHATSOEVER for a teacher to assault a child like that. This teacher did not wash the child’s mouth out with soap, they introduced a toxic chemical into the child’s body. That is a CRIMINAL act and should be treated as such.

    Yes, children can be obnoxious, disagreeable and disrespectful at times, but there are limits as to what is acceptable punishment, and discipline DOES have boundaries.

    If a child is out of control, call their parent and send them home from school. Suspend them and let their parents deal with their unruly children. If they are REALLY out of control, call the police and let them deal with the matter.

    A teacher is there to TEACH – not to administer toxic chemicals into a child’s body as some form of sick and draconian punishment.

    Like 28
  11. Justice And Solution-Based Mindset says:

    Most Innovative Schools today, internationally, are adapting, training, and implementing a vision for their schools based on “Restorative Practices.” The Ministry of Education should, at the lease, research its efficacy to current standards and codes of conduct for all stakeholders in our education environment and community, and apply where applicable.

    May possibly start with this suggested link, below. Hope it starts to change the conversation to offer more of a solution.

    Make it a Great Day – because that too is an attitude.

  12. ESHS says:

    My child has a complaint almost everyday about the things the teachers tell the students at ESHS. My issue with this is if they don’t really care about the students and only there to collect a salary maybe it’s time to GO HOME OR LOOK FOR ANOTHER JOB.

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    • @ESHS says:

      Not condoning the teacher’s behaviour if it’s true but please ask your child to give u a little feedback on how those children generally behave in class.

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      • @@ESHS says:

        You should quit while you’re ahead…could tell you are one of those teachers who always quick to jump on social media to defend the unethical ways of some teachers.

  13. Facts says:

    A janitor at Bregado Flax Education told a student she will work obeah on her

  14. irresponsible says:

    There are certain things that a legislator must know where to say them and how to deal with the issues. The BVI is on the global stage in many areas. There are many international bodies like UNICEF and others who are paying attention and these comments can form part of reports from these organizations that go out internationally. This doesn’t look good. What the teacher did was wrong and she must face the consequences of her actions, Hon. Turnbull should not be out there turning his mouth to the world. A responsible person would have gone to meet with the officials in the ministry and let them know his concerns and provide proof where he can. Discuss with them how they intend to address the matter and hold their feet to the fire on it. What Hon. Turnbull has done is irresponsible in my view.

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    • @irresponsible says:

      It is a fact that officials who are supposed to assist do nothing and pass on a matter to avoid dealing with it with one of the reasons other than a don’t care attitude being because of their affiliation with the wrongdoers.

      Bring everything out in the open. It is time for the incompetence and lack of action to stop.

      Like 11
  15. confusion maker says:

    Mitch Turnbull is just a confusion maker. He mash up the NDP when he didn’t get what he wanted. Now look her again.

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  16. A parent says:

    The Teacher Commission Board and the Minister of Education needs to really go in deep on some of the people they hire to teach our children. Some of the teachers bring there outside problems and frustration to the classroom and take it out on the students. A teacher should not take it upon themselves to wash out a child’s mouth with a toxic cleaner, she should have been arrested on the spot and terminated for endangering the life of minor.

    Like 17
  17. Concern says:

    First, let me start off by saying I’m not condoning the behavior of that teacher and the allegation that she washed out a child’s mouth with pine sol. However after reading all these posts, at what point are we going to stop focusing just on the teachers and also the students – therefore parents behavior. It starts at home – and as parents we have to take accountability for our part in the child or children’s behavior.

    I graduated primary school in 1992, and back then the Principal had a strap – that was our punishment, then you go home you get even more licks from your parents. These new generation kids are extremely disrespectful and detention isn’t enough. You tell the parents about the child, they do nothing. But the child come home and tell on a teacher we quick to blame said teacher before asking – what did you do or say.

    Teachers are there to teach, but clearly they are not getting the respect they deserve either because it hasn’t gotten any easier over the years with these disrespectful kids in the classroom. So yes, some may shout, but it’s because Jack and Jane don’t listen and are disruptive to others – it is called classroom management.

    All im saying, stop sending your rude child to school, and then expect them to act different with teachers whey they are disrespecting you at home.

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    • @Concern says:

      Not because something was done culturally/traditionally years ago does it make it right and yes you are condoning the teachers inhumane behaviour.

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      • hmmm says:

        How is “concern” condoning teachers inhumane behavior? So you don’t think it starts at home. Teachers are getting abuse too, may not be physically but verbally by these students, and they should just take it right because they are the adults. Growing up we were always told to respect our teachers, as we respect the parents. But some of these kids don’t even respect their parents – so guess what happens in the classroom. One disrespectful child, disrupts teaching for the entire class. Classroom management is key, but lashing in schools worked in the past like “concern” stating – I say bring out the straps…

  18. ok says:

    Shouldn’t Social Development, Mental Health, Police, etc. be investigating the matter? Or is this just left up to the Teacher Commission Board and Minister of Education?
    Maybe internal investigations will not produce anything. Maybe outside entities are the best way to proceed with these alleged crimes. My point, it allegedly happened near a week ago and all we hear is a probe will be launched! Hummm

    Like 5
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  19. Disgusted says:

    Whatever happens,no teacher has the right to abuse any child. A child might be disrespectful,but teachers need to be the adults in these situations. So if a child is rude, what to do, kill him? Society has messed up our children and all of us are paying for it. Children don’t train themselves,they are trained by adults and live what they learn. Don’t abuse them restructure the society that trains the children.

    Like 11
  20. Real says:

    Fire Mrs P Ro….

  21. What a ting says:

    If it was an expatriate teacher who had done this headline would have read ‘Exp teacher gives …. . No
    Mention is made as both principal and teacher are locals . Biased reporting

    Like 6
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  22. Retired says:

    I hope the good that these teachers do get the same attention as the bad.

  23. Common Sense says:

    Yea only teachers can abuse students, the students are not capable of abuse of any kind because they too young to know how to abuse teacher physically or verbally, my word how dare a teacher ask a child to behave or say please to the child before asking a child to do something orderly, boy the pressure is real, them poor kids, who only could only resort cursing, lying, stealing, fight and porperty damage, I know some of them teachers well bad and need the book throw a them just like some police, but all those kids innocent 100% of the time, society should never blame them of anything because their to young to know right from wrong, their to young to do anything wrong because it’s just cute to see them cursing or fighting, and it’s not like we trying to raise them to be the future, it’s not like we should expect them to develop a mind or sense of responsiblity, or trust them to have integrity, so keep excusing them and punishing the teachers, and the future will be bright #IfYouFeelHurtItsYouITalkingToSMH

  24. J says:

    We should tackle issues/concerns of child abuse. However, the issue should be tackled holistically. In reacting to the gross misconduct of the teacher at IDPS, let us not forget that there are a number disciplinary challenges in our schools. Many of these don’t make it to the news but they exist. We have to address all aspects of discipline.

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