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Zero tolerance to fights, bullying | Amendments to Education law coming

Dr Wheatley

Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said his ministry intends to clamp down on acts of bullying and fights by tweaking the existing policies governing students.

Dr Wheatley made that remark at Friday’s sitting of the House of Assembly following what he said were a series of unacceptable behaviour being displayed by youngsters.

“These acts are posted on Facebook and circulated around via other means such as WhatsApp videos, creating a very negative image on the school environment, the students and the education system as a whole. As Minister for Education, I will not tolerate or condone this or any form of violence or aggression by our students,” the minister said.

Zero tolerance approach

Effective this week, the Minister said meetings will be had with stakeholders on the issue.

He said: “I will begin discussions on how to deal with this unacceptable behaviour and further how students engaging in these acts should be dealt with.”

He continued: “There are already in place several policies that are used by the schools; however, the intention is to put in place additional measures including adjustments to the Education Act as necessary.”

Tightening cyber laws

Meanwhile, Dr Wheatley said the ministry will also take a look at legislation that governs the territory’s cyber activity.

“Therefore with the support of the Premier and your government, we will explore possible any amendments to the cybercrime law and any other legislation so we can protect our children and teach them that actions have consequences,” he said.

He further said the misuse of social media has scared many young people.

“When we were young, we made foolish mistakes, but in those days there were no social media to record and expose those mistakes to the world. Our goal as parents is to protect our children, but we do not have adequate protection from the sharing of this information with malicious intent.”

He said that in keeping with the theme for this academic year, ‘be disciplined, achieve excellence’ the Ministry of Education will continue their attempts to provide students with positive behaviour management techniques.

This, he said, will be done through initiatives such as the ‘Core Values Programme.’ 


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12 Comments

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  1. Agreed says:

    I agree with every word by the Minister of Education Wheatley. This place is too lawless.

    17
    • @Agreed says:

      While i am in agreement that something needs to be done with these young people and their lawless behavior, i do not think legislation would solve the problem.

      The reason for my position is that no legislation could ever cover the scope of this problem, as such some areas would be excluded. Further, if the legislation is written to broad it would be left for the courts to interpret, therefore diluting its true purpose. As technology changes, it would most likely present new challenges;
      would the legislation be amended each time a new challenge presents itself?

  2. Great says:

    Let us get stiffer cyber crime legislation. I am for that. Let us move with the times.

    11
  3. My take says:

    I am sick of getting whatsapp videos of our young people fighting and doing other sexual things. This must stop. Parents have to step up and government has to step up with laws to discourage persons from sharing these things.

    13
  4. Me too says:

    Agreed!

  5. vip heckler says:

    All he did since he in there is just talking talking and keeping parties

    3
    6
  6. yolo says:

    if you are sick of the what’s app video you can do 3 thing
    1 don’t watch the video
    2 tell the person don’t send you no video.
    3 Block the person that send you the video
    simple steps

    3
    1
  7. education says:

    This is an important area Hon. Wheatley is tackling. Educating the public on what constitutes bullying is also necessary. There are too many people both adults and children that do it and do not realise it. Even heard cyberbullying in a business promotional ad on the radio sometime ago. We have to remember that not everyone was raised properly. Many times (not all) mean adults raise mean children.

  8. what a ting says:

    Policies and procedures must be put in place to make parents more accountable for the lawlesssness of their children. If those parents are teenagers themselves, Have parenting classes for parents- How to train their young ones to avoid this display later on. This would not stop all the bullling and fighting, BUT it would surley help to lessen the nnumber of incidents. SOME modern day parents believe, spoiling theor litte ones is traing. It is the breedig ground for later embrassment.

  9. Please says:

    I remember the days in the 80’s when you fight even if you were defending yourself it was an automatic suspension. Even if parents came up and begged or rant it stood.

    Now the politicians and the ministry get involve and override the principles. These children actions and fearlessness of authority is a result of that.

  10. Thinking differently says:

    I think that students look at suspension as a benefit a vacation from school, time to stay home watch tv sleep fool around etc. How about making the suspension more of an unpleasant experience for them with mandatory meetings and lecture. What about increasing the truancy branch into a department where the students who have made these infractions have to attend these sessions where they are coached into behavior changing activities. A visit to the prison, the police station, the morgue, etc. more structured and targeted tactics to discourage these things from happening while giving these youngsters more value and respect for life.
    I have seen students in trouble repeatedly saying “just give me my community service let me go”
    In short each individual needs a caseworker who will be diligent in their duty upon suspension. There needs to be a pool of ready charismatic individuals who are capable of behavior modification tactics to bombard the offending individuals and help to place them back on the straight and narrow path.
    We have long dropped our ball in raising children. The community needs to be placed back as the backbone structure because if we don’t do this our tourism product may suffer who cares that we have sand sea and sun if the ppl have horrible behaviors that are displeasing. COMMUNITY WAKE UP!!!!!! We need you to take back up the mantle!

  11. Ms wize says:

    Believe it or not some of these fights are premeditated the bully would give a friend the cell phone to videotape while trying to make trouble with the other person.. I really thought cell phones in school for the junior students was a NO NO. Did the rule changed? I need to know. Since when the female students are wearing their skirts way above their knees? Did this rule changed also? Teachers keep your eyes open wide

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