BVI News

Ministry unaware of any ‘other incidents’ of student mistreatment

“I don’t know what [other] complaints Honourable Turnbull is talking about.” — Dr Natalio Wheatley

Following the alleged incident in which a student was made to gargle a liquid detergent, Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley has said he is unaware of any other reports about BVI students being ill-treated by their teachers.

Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull — whose district the first alleged incident happened — said in a public community meeting last week that he has been made aware of subsequent acts of student mistreatment.

But, while speaking to BVI News after that claim, Dr Wheatley said: “I don’t know what [other] complaints Honourable Turnbull is talking about.”

“Anyone who has a legitimate complaint should speak to the teacher, the principal, the governance officer, the school liaison, the Chief Education Officer,” the Education Minister further said. “If there is no relief at those levels, bring attention to the minister. We will investigate any legitimate complaint that a child or parent reports through the appropriate channels.”

In the meantime, Dr Wheatly said he still is awaiting a decision from the Teaching Service Commission on the alleged liquid detergent incident, which is reported to have happened at the Ivan Dawson Primary School in Cane Garden Bay last month.

When asked if the allegations were likely to attract the attention of local law enforcement, Dr Wheatley replied that he was unable to say.


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  1. Shorty says:

    No Dr. Wheathley if anyone has a complaint they should NOT report it to the teacher, principal or education ministry but to the RVIPF family and Juvenile Unit and Social Development Department based on the Child Protection Protocol of the Virgin Islands. What really is the point of having laws in place in the VI if no one wants to follow them.

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    • Exactly says:

      They do not complain to the Principal because the principal will cover up for the teacher. Ms, PINE SOL principal was aware and she did nothing about it. We just want the report and we as parents is waiting to make our move, this is not going to go away.

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    • 007 says:

      Actually they should report it to the principal as well in addition to the Police and others you mentioned. The principal is in charge of the school and should be made aware of anything affecting the school to properly address the issue.

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      • Butt 007 says:

        Yes the principal is in charge of the school. But, not all principals follow proper protocol. Look at the Pine
        Sol incident, the principal and other staff members knew and they stayed mute. Now they are running around trying to do damage control because their cards got peeped.

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        • 007 says:

          Like I said, it should be reported to the principal in addition to the police etc. Your point is kind of ridiculous and flawed as well. Not all police follow protocols as well. Police officers right here in the BVI have been charged and convicted of crimes and even lost law suits for not following proper procedures. They have received verbal scoldings from the Magistrate for sloppy work on a few occasions. That doesn’t mean that you don’t report a crime to the officers. The same logic applies with the principal.

      • Shorty says:

        Yes the principal is the head of the school and that is precisely the point. Most principals knows exactly what goes on in their schools but some have this policy “I will protect my teachers to the ground”. One band one sound! One guarantee in schools is that children y’all so the adults including the principal are usually aware. So if we want to be professional we not reporting to the principal we informing them of the situation and telling them a report has been launched with the legal authorisers. What annoys me the most principals and teachers are mandated reports of child abuse by law but it seems they only report parents not their colleagues.

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  2. Dr. Wheatly says:

    You have not heard about other complaints because some of the parents feel that no one or anything is going to come out of reporting it because in this place, everyone cover up for each other. The parents are waiting patiently for the report to come back. Some of the parents including myself believe the teacher is going to get a slap on the wrist and will be let back into another school to teach. This happens, the parents is going to protest and hold up traffic in Road Town. A strong message has to be sent, the teacher could have killed the child.

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    • hmm says:

      Just last week my child told me that their teacher throw a ball at them, which catch them in their chest. After hearing this i said i would speak to the teacher but, the child cry as if we had a death in the family, begging me please, please dont say anything. This left me so confuse because i want to address it but at the same time i want to protect the child. It’s sad that these children have to go through these sort of things.

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      • Camera says:

        Put a pin size camera on his shirt button. Don’t tell him it’s there. You all need to start recording them. Camera on the bookbag/backpack somewhere.

      • anegada says:

        Going through same thing over here. The one hag they put in charge of preschool and primary has an attitude problem and always runnin to her cousin the P who she really wants to overthrow and rule herself but steady having her react to her complaints. Two of them on power trips while the old hen mother yelling at kids, she should have been allowed to resign when she cursed in school last term and stomped off. now there is another primary teacher in there putting fear in the children and she right outside the P office. my child cries and begs for me not to say anything cause he said they will take it out on the kids who tell

        • Yes says:

          Hurry and find us a principal and remove that miserable one that in charge of preschool. She wanna tell teachers about lesson plans and discipline people children and she herself not discipline nor her children..come on mannnn, why experiment with our kids futures? As a teacher watching I am disturbed

    • A Parent says:

      No matter what, this is a very serious matter. I was grocery shopping with my Mom on Saturday and when we got to the cleaning aisle, when I saw Pine Sol the incident flashed in my mind. As a parent I think what was done to the child was an intentional, premeditated, vicious act. Come on, she knew what she was doing.

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      • Thing is says:

        She had enough time to realize what she was about to do was wrong. She get away with cleaning out a child’s mouth with a caustic chemical, the next teacher might knock your child tooth out.If a teacher put a hand on my child, I am going to the police station to report it and I will also contact the media.

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    • Another Parent says:

      I am down with the protest, we are going to shut down Road Town traffic right in the middle of rush hour. You lock up one parent, you have to lock all of us up. The teacher committed a serious offense on a minor child and we as parents don’t want her in another classroom or another school.

  3. backwards ever says:

    Natalio and Myron is chalk and cheese. backward step big time with Natalio.

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    • Why compare? says:

      There can be comparison here at all. Myron is head and shoulders above Natalio period. What makes it more difficult for Natalio is that he now has more on his portfolio than Myron did. He has fishing and agriculture added. I remember listening a show with Natalio’s father saying that the ministry of education was too large for one person when the NDO was in. Now his son is the minister with two big subjects added less the prison, I haven’t heard his father say a word. Goes to show how we are in this country. I even heard the father now on his show making excuses for why constituents are not seeing their representatives. He said they just working hard on their subjects. All I could do was laugh

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      • Haha says:

        Both of y’all sound so stupid comparing Myron and Natalio. Natalio is actually more qualified to be Minister of Education over Myron as he actually has experience in that particular field and his degrees speak for themselves. The comparison wasn’t even necessary as Myron was minister for 8 years and Natalio has spent less than a year.

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        • Hilarious says:

          @haha you can’t be serious. You really don’t know Natalio then. Qualified? Haha

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          • Haha says:

            @Hilarious you’re just a pathetic hater. You think he got Dr. in his title because he worked at Peebles. Politics aside Sowande is one of the rare ones in government that was putting in work way before he got involved in politics. Way Before PPA or PPP or whatever he been on the radio speaking out on community issues. After he lost twice he didn’t disappear like 95% of all politicians in the BVI. He was still dedicating his time speaking out on community issues. He was one of the 20 people marching against Biwater and was vocal against the destruction of the mangroves to build the Golf course in Beef Island years ago. Where your favorites at? They were quiet before politics and after they lost they went mute again. Say what you want that guy proved that he care about the BVI a lot more than the pretenders and he did it with his actions.

        • Less than a year says:

          And you see the muck!

          • Shrug says:

            @haha what is the ministee’s Doctorate in? You could have a doctorate in anything. That doesn’t mean you are qualified for any and every job. Let’s get that straight. And for the doctorate this minister has he hasn’t shown me a thing

        • Be fair says:

          N more qualified but M more street smart and he has the pseudo Christians in the Ministry loyal to him
          They know what is happening in schools
          They just not sharing the info
          Cause at end of day they
          Do not care about the children
          They prefer their old master
          Dear Minister
          Clean out your house
          Remove the dead weight and imposters
          Get true educators who genuinely care and are enthusiastic about moving the children forward
          Motivating the teachers
          Truly bridging the gap with parents

  4. @Dr. Wheatley says:

    Let me help shed some light on the situation for you. I commend you on the job you have been doing in your post thus far EXCEPT for your choice of words as this being a “mistake”. However, have your noticed the premier has not made an appearance or statement regarding this statement up to this point? Why? Because the teacher is the daughter of a BIG VIP SUPPORTER … To this day her name hasn’t been released, she hasn’t been arrested and charged. If it was a parent did this to their own child that parent would have been arrested, name all over the news and thrown before the court. She should not be allowed to return to teach. She does not genuinely care about children. I bet she couldn’t try this with ESHS students. Her and her mom preys on the inferior. Wrong is WRONG no matter who you belong to. On a side note, I haven’t seen this on another site… I’m so sorry not the Hon. Caines has elected to be apart of this party.

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    • 007 says:

      The reason why the name hasn’t been released is because it’s not protocol for a school to release a teacher or student’s name about this kind of stuff. The reason why she hasn’t been charged or arrested is simple and isn’t because of your wild conspiracy theories. Tell the parent to call the police and press charges. They have to investigate and if there is reasonable cause then she will be charged. Once charged they will release her name. This has nothing to do with Fahie or Alvera or anybody else. The opposition leader or Mark hasn’t said a word either. This is an internal matter with the school until the parents press charges. If the girl gets charged I’m sure we will lose her job so if the parents have a problem with the teacher they will press the issue.

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  5. AMH says:

    The Ministry is not doing anything about the current incident so why should they know about any other… Just pass the buck and not stand up and do what is right whether it is family friends, etc. that does the wrong.

  6. J says:

    In this particular incident, the principal should not be allowed a free pass either.

  7. Parent says:

    I pray to God that the board of education, the minister of education, the education department on a whole do not let that child down, please do the right thing for child/family they are human and they deserve to get justice and ensure no child or family has to suffer the same fate, I am appealing to the aforementioned department to please and I say please investigate the IDPS if you were to question the kids seperately one on one you would do a clean house of the entire staff,the children are scared to talk in fear of being victimized,

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great to see parents come together to bash teachers. Yes a grave mistake was made, some of y’all don’t even come to the PTA but wow look at how much time y’all have now to make comments on a bad decision. Did the child die? Some of y’all do way worse but we won’t speak on that. Where are you when teachers call for your help with YOUR child? Y’all like to make a bad situation, the worse it can be. How unforgiving are we as a people, parents and teachers… we don’t see any parents being arrested for neglect but hey, we must be judge, jury and executer when the shoe is on the other foot. Who to blame when the children abusing teachers? Who to blame when the parents don’t even care enough to pick up report card let alone disciple their children… the teacher was wrong, he/she is paying for it everyday he/she wakes up. Geese!

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