Ministry keeping mum on school violence

| 18/12/2009

Cayman Islands news, Grand Cayman local news(CNS): The Education Ministry is so far being tight lipped about the violent incident at a government school in November that led to a 13-year-old student being flown to Jamaica with head injuries, reportedly after rocks were thrown at him. Despite assurances to CNS that an explanation of the event would be forthcoming early this week, there is still no word almost one month after the boy was injured at the George Hicks High School. According to police, two boys, aged 13 and 14, have been charged with actual bodily harm in connection with the incident. Police say that the alleged assault took place at 10:20am on Monday, 23 November, at the school campus. (Picture courtesy News 27)

CNS has repeatedly asked the ministry for more information since we were informed of the incident on 3 December by a member of the public. Last week, Deputy Chief Officer Christen Suckoo said, “We have been in discussions with stakeholders regarding this topic specifically and violence in schools generally. Therefore we have decided to hold off until early next week so that we can include more relevant information for the public.”

However, as government schools break for the Christmas holidays today (Friday), there has still been no word on how exactly violence in schools is being addressed.

In early December Education Minister Rolston Anglin told News 27, “Every time something serious happens it will cause people to question and it will cause parents to worry … What I can assure them is that we are doing everything we can in terms of putting in resources and working with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service to provide the schools with the type of support that it needs to keep the school environment safe.” No details of what actions have been taken or resources deployed have emerged since the minister gave these vague assurances.

Following a stabbing incident at the John Gray High School on Wednesday, 25 November, in which a girl received two non-life threatening lacerations to her chest, apparently with a pocketknife, the ministry issued a detailed explanation of the incident. It is not clear why, in the George Hicks incident, the ministry has so far been silent.

With the schools constructions projects in limbo, overcrowding at the high school campuses is set to worsen, which will do nothing to ease the tension at the two campuses. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly in early December, Anglin said that it was government’s position that that plans would be announced shortly on the way forward on the schools projects. (See School projects in limbo)

An outline of the plans has not yet been forthcoming. 

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Comments (11)

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  1. waiting, waiting, waiting, says:

    This should be titled "Ministry doing the best that they can and still failing miserably like all the others."

    Or how about "Ministry will get back to us when it has a clue"

    Or maybe "Ministry not concerned about concerns"

    Or my personal favorite"Ministry will answer when it can understand the question."

  2. ANONYMOUS says:

    OMG – Is this country never going to learn that you cannot keep ignoring things that are happening on this island.  Crime has to be dealt with whether it is in the school playground or on the streets of Cayman.  It is so easy to put your heads into the sand and hope it will all go away, but as we are ALL fast learning we have now welcomed in the 21st century to Cayman and as bad as it is rght now criminals must be held accountable for their actions. 

    PLEASE government / police / community / children – lets stop all pointing the finger and get together to figure out how to get Cayman back to the wonderful, happy place it used to be.  We are driving everyone away slowly but surely with this hateful attitude.   This is no longer about Caymanians versus expats but about the community as a whole being held accountable for the place in which they live.   We can only strive to improve it and make it a better place – so put your efforts in responding in a positive way and seek improvements that can be made to the Island – it can be done. 

    Here’s to a successful and joyful New Year one and all!

    • Anonymous says:

      "This is no longer about Caymanians versus expats but about the community as a whole being held accountable for the place in which they live."  Cayman offers expats nothing to encourage them to be part of the community or to take a long term interest in Cayman, in fact the very opposite is true.  So they pocket their wages and make plans to leave this place behind.  Sorry but that is how many expats view Cayman.  That is the roll-over social contract in action.

      • Anonymous says:

        This view does not represent the general sentiments of all expats. For many of use we are grateful to this country for the opportunities that have been provided to us for being here. Though the time is indeed limited, it does not take away from the fact that we do live here, whether for 1 or 7 years, this is our home! Therefore, we will not hesitate to make contributions for the overall improvement of this country, whether to alleviate crime or promote literacy.

        Not all expats are bitter at all! And this view will certainly not create a unified Cayman for foreigners and natives!!

  3. au revoir says:

    …or maybe because the Department of Education has learned that sweeping matters under the carpet works 99% of the time.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think it is part of the CIG "Don’t ask, don’t need to do anything" policy.

  4. EastSider says:

    No it was not.  According to other school kids it was because the boy who was hit kicked a ball over the fence.  It was a case of kids out of control.

  5. noname says:

    Perhaps because in the case of the so called ‘stoning’ incident, it was not a vicious attack as reported in the news, but a case of boyhood practice gone wrong when it hit the wrong body part.

    • Anonymous says:


      This seems precisely what the CNS post is "concerned" with…and we all should be!


    • Anonymous2 says:

      "boyhood practise gone wrong"?  The boy was airlifted to Jamaica.  That wasn’t a matter of one minor hit in the wrong spot.  Wow, no wonder the country is taken over by crime.  It’s acceptable to stone a boy.

    • Anonymous says:

      "A case of boyhood practice gone wrong" — WHAT?

      How about this — Dont throw rocks at people, cars, houses, etc..

      Stupid is as stupid does — keep it up Cayman parents and your kids wont have a future!