BVI News

Principal supports Pier Park ban; indiscipline a longtime issue


While supporting the recent policy to bar unaccompanied minors from the Tortola Pier Park, Principal of Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) Sandy Underhill said the school has been struggling with indiscipline for a long time and is calling on parents to lend greater support to ESHS when it disciplines their children.

Underhill said the educational facility has been struggling to properly address the issue partly because some parents challenge the school when it disciplines disruptive students.

“Sometimes you have parents who are very supportive but you also have those who are very mad at you because you suspended their child, and who are telling you: my child was just defending him or herself and I don’t know why my child is suspended,” said Underhill, who described student indiscipline as a societal issue.

She also called for support from members of the wider community including police.

“It may not necessarily have to mean you charge or you arrest. It can mean coming together and meeting and coming up with an accurate recommendation for a particular child.”

“That is basically what I would like to see when the school takes action. Support the school when it tries to instill discipline and the consequences for bad behaviour, but also take responsibility because it’s everybody’s problem,” she said.

Underhill was speaking in response to recent reports that ESHS were ‘wreaking havoc’ in the commercial district of Road Town during afterschool hours.

Don’t blame the Pier Park

The incidents of unruliness led to management at the Tortola Pier Park banning persons under 17 from entering the facility without being accompanied by someone 21 years or older.

While expressing some disappointment that her students have been banned, Underhill said Pier Park must not be criticised for implementing the ban.

“It’s the same principle that I spoke about. They have their rules and they have to enforce them. While it’s my students who are mostly affected, I cannot say that the park is doing anything wrong because they are now enforcing consequences and that is what we all need to band together and do. We need to understand that there are rules and if you enter into an establishment anywhere that has rules you have to abide by the rules and if they don’t you have to abide by the consequences,” Underhill reasoned.

“So, the same stance that the Pier Park has taken is the same stance that I’m asking the community to support me on. When I take my stance and I enforce my rules, please support me.”

Longstanding issue

The school principal said indiscipline is not new to ESHS but is only now being greatly publicised because students are now directly affecting well-known businesses.

“Everybody knows that we (the school) are now located right next to FSC, we are located right next to TICO and RiteWay which are big businesses in the Virgin Islands and so, finally, we are getting attention.”

Though noting that it is disheartening to see her students being negatively labeled, Underhill said: “This is what I always wanted for us to see; that there is a problem but the onus is on everybody … Everybody needs to get involved with what is going on with our youth to try to make the territory a better place. It’s not just the school, it is everybody’s problem.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Sam the man says:

    It’s not difficult… parents need to be held responsible for their kids – end of… they need to “step up” and stop passing the buck to the over stretched school teachers who do an amazing job – lend them support and do what you should do in mentoring/training/teaching your own kids rather than being dis engaged – wake up! – your kids will follow your example….

  2. Concerned says:

    I am with her!!! Something HAS to be done, here and at all levels. Government sets a bad example, police do (by not arresting wring doers), the flagrant disregard of bikers about laws is just one example. There needs to be a whole islnad discipline crackdwon NOW

  3. Resident says:

    One of the biggest problems as I see it is that many parents are of a younger age and they themselves cannot discipline their children. Some of them were also problem students themselves so they have a problem when teachers discipline their kids. Those same students who they taking up for will one day be before a judge or magistrate. Discipline your kids now!!!

  4. Laura says:

    Raising children is challenging, and there is much disagreement among parents over how they should discipline their kids if at all. We now live in the generation of angry kids, the get it right now bunch and if that need is not appeased all hell breaks loose. This then leads to a society of undisciplined politicians, police officers and the like. We created these kids so there is no one else to blame but the parents.

    As a society in such a small nation we have to see discipline as an investment.
    Teddy Roosevelt once said, “To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”

  5. Nonsense says:

    She is right I dont even know why this sh..t is making news the children are rude and indiscipline. They going over there and fighting. Even up in rite way they are a handful.

    The parents have to blame. Drive down town a Saturday night around 1100 you see young kids leaving their homes to go frolicking.

    Where are the parents how can they sleep knowing their young kids are out there been prey for the spirits of drugs, sex, homosexuality, Aids and crime. Parents what is wrong with you.

  6. Cool says:

    Only one loud mouth fool on the park going against the ban because that’s what they do best, complain about every damn thing. BVI is the way it is because we always let things slide. We visit other countries and abide by all of their rules, laws, no problem, but at home everything is a problem.

  7. Agie says:

    Mrs. Underhill I supports you 100% in whatever decisions you make. My child graduated last year but as a parent I still feel obligated to still be a part of the supporting the school. The BVI is crying out the youths need help. Parents I am pleading and begging you to be the parents and DO NOT allow the children be the parents of your house hold. If you allowing your child/ children to be in control of your house hold now is the time to put your feet down it’s not too late. Please support Mrs. Underhill before it’s too late for your child.

  8. Parent says:

    Good morning I think that they need to change the school hours. The seniors need to go school in the morning while the junior high in the afternoon like that they would not be in the streets getting into trouble. The minister need to think about it and make the change.

    • Foolishness says:

      Then what happens is they will fight in the morning hours while their parents are at work instead of fighting in the afternoons. Some of these kids are real problems and it needs to be looked at seriously.

  9. Hmmmmmm says:

    Basically Principal, Those few A-Holes that caused the disruption and the week security could do nothing to stop it is who control things. Not the Government, Not you or nobody else but them. These few have the power to cause a total ban on thousands. Maybe we should elect them to make decisions. THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH YOU SUITS. INSTEAD OF GOING AFTER THE PROBLEM YOU GO AROUND IT. SO WHAT IF THEY DECIDE TO GO TO ONE MART AND DO THE SAME THING. ALL KIDS WOULD BE BANNED FROM THE STORE AND NOW DEALING HARSHLY WITH THE FEW? GET SERIOUS AND GROW A FEW.

    • @ Hmmmmmm says:

      The root of the problem is lack of proper parenting. The ban now gives parents to opportunity to be responsible for monitoring their own children’s behavior when they are in the park instead of depending on the security to do their parenting job. Age 17 may be a bit high but certainly from 15 and below.

  10. I couldn't agree more says:

    Discrimination is not the answer. These young people are members of the society…they should have a voice…they should be a part of the discussion…bring them to the table for dialog..reason with them instead of trying to back them out and lock them out…
    This is not civilized behavior on the part of the ‘authorities’.
    Yes, there is a can blame they youths and the parents all day long, but that will not solve the problem. Baning seems to be the easy way out of everything, but wisdom teaches that you do not solve a problem by creating another one.
    Put on your power suit and approach the youths as human beings, not as ‘things to be controlled’.
    This is a new year, renew your minds and think outside the box. Things are not going to get easier. Fancy nails, cute hair do’s, and corner offices, nice pay packets, and fringe benefits come with responsibility…other than lip service.

  11. what on earth? says:

    Ok lets sit down and listen to prisoners and take guidance from them as well “I couldn’t agree less” ! dialog with drug addicts also…stupid suggestion! ban until they behave and the parents will wake up to their responsibilities – do not be soft and weak with this….

  12. one says:

    tickets a good alternative?

    Goverment is spending approximately 2,500.00 per child per day.

    Ninetynine percent of those children are not locally local. Fifty percent of them are not from here at at all.

    The Geneva conventions advocate the education of the child, but the time has for governments to begin charging a steep fee.

    A fee would change the entire approach by parents and children alike to and respect for and appreciation for an education.

    Therein is the problem. Education is free, thus it is summarily taken for granted and customarily over;\looked as important.

    Put a price tag on it so that only few can afford and see how quickly the importance to approach changes from dis -dain to concrete importance, affecting every home, parent and child’s behavior reasoning and values.

    Hundreds of thousands of $$$$$$$$$ are wasted on education and children yearly, who does not give a damn whether school opens or not; and whether they learn to read or not.

    Having to pay to learn and earn will change the whole paradigm, create respect and value where such are now absent.

    I rest my case.

  13. Adios says:

    Unfortunately the future of the BVI is represented by this generation of mouthy entitled hooligans. No one to blame but the parents Wait until today’s parents start getting pushed around by their grandchildren and dumped off at the home because they are a nuisance. Already happening and going to get worse You reap what you sow. You been sowing s*!t.

  14. Heavyhand says:

    May kids have a healthy fear of me but they still test me very often. They also understand that their bad behavior will be seen as a reflection of their parents teachings. They are taught to remove themselves from drama first and defend themselves when forced to.

    If you act the fool you should be treated like a fool!

  15. I say I say says:

    Sue BVI Airways get the 7 million plus the rest you ain’t tell us about and hurry re build the school use money for material odor. Rebuilding.

    Work a deal with multiple contractors either in the way of tax breaks so they can offer their services at a lowered price.

    The kids should come first not trees on a beach

  16. Facts says:

    Parents nowadays will spend $1K on Jordans, Gucci chain, Polo shirts and a photoshoot of their kids to post on Facebook and Instagram and won’t buy them a book, spend time with them teaching them about life and how important it is to be respectful. When the kids were trying to kill each other on our pier park and showed total disregard for security personnel, tenants and customers, it wasn’t big news. Now action is being taken to curb the BS and everyone is weighing in. Ban their a$$es until they learn how to conduct themselves. Of course there are many well behaved youth however, this is their lesson of life that sometimes the innocent suffer for the guilty. Perhaps they can encourage their peers to do better.

  17. A Parent says:

    I agree with the principal 250%. My son who is in his last year of high school only goes to the pier on weekends with me or his father. After school, he go to his grandparents.agree, minors should not be allowed anywhere unless accompanied by an adult. You visit the States, there are signs on businesses saying minors are not allowed unless accompanied by an adult. Most of these kids here in the BVI have no manners or respect.

  18. Agreement says:

    I live in Florida and most businesses allow one student at a time in their establishment and no backpacks allowed. They are not allowed in any business in groups because of their unruly behavior and theft.

  19. True, Maryland says:

    I live in Maryland and like Florida, businesses here only allow one student at a time and yes, they have to leave their backpacks at the door.I agree with the school principal. Not all kids are doing stupid things but, the disrespectful no manners ones is making the ones that is doing the right things look bad. When I see a group of kids, I tend to go the other way and hold my pocket book a bit tighter.

  20. Parent says:

    At least the Principal has the balls ‘others’ seem to be lacking on speaking about the root cause of this issue and how it should be handled.

  21. Wendy says:

    So the talk has always been about the village how it takes a village to raise a child, Well, who are these roaming recaltricant youthful offenders of the village. Who are they. The village needs to be accountable but who are these youths in this place of several hundred ethnicities? No names because it would embarass and humiliate? Joking actually because pride is not an attribute of them or their parents. Well let me guess.Do they look like the Balsum residents and the outsiders of mischief and mayhem and the looters?
    If so, then problem solved with simple solution.
    If not the the BVI has an insurmountable problem and will,as is usually the case,hire a consultant.

  22. Levy says:

    Agreed. Those responsible for birthing and raising these lives need to spend less time on the beaches and Feeding them from the organic edible fruits and leaves of trees should be a priority.

  23. SewitReapit Past Student says:

    Children are a reflection of their environment whether domestically, school, church or other groups, but more so domestically.

    We agree that parents have responsibilities to nurture children,however the children would also be affected by people where ever they spend a considerable amount of time.

    We are not perfect;respect and good morals help maintain a particular standard that we would like to see. Leader have a major responsibility to display respect.


Leave a Comment