Quake causes chaos at school

| 20/01/2010

(CNS): Following a morning of misinformation and confusion as parents, teachers and students reacted to Tuesday’s earthquake, as well as an incident in which a student at John Grey High School allegedly attacked the principal and had to be restrained, there was a deafening silence from Education Minister Rolson Anglin or Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues. Other than two brief announcements from GIS that schools remained open, the ministry failed to reassure concerned parents about what was happening at the schools or quash rumours spreading via email and talk shows that schools were closing following the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Grand Cayman around 9:20am. (Left: JGHS principal Aldin Bellinfantie)

The non-reaction by the ministry echoed the lack of information following a violent incident at the George Hicks campus in November last year that led to a 13-year-old student being flown to Jamaica with head injuries, reportedly after rocks were thrown at him. Despite assurances from the ministry that an account of the incident would be provided to the media, none ever appeared.

While official information as to what caused the apparent chaos at schools yesterday (19 January) was woefully lacking, an eye-witness told CNS that students at the John Gray High School were evacuated into the bus parking lot after the earthquake. They were then encouraged to vault over the fence and leave the compound without permission from the school by adults who arrived at the campus, and some students did so.

With rumours swirling that the schools were closing and even that children were being sent home without informing parents, panicked parents arrived at the school and may have fuelled the morning’s disruptions.

CNS has also learned that a student at JGHS was detained by police following attempts to hit the new school principal, Aldin Bellinfantie. Police confirmed that they did attend a disturbance at John Grey but no arrests were made.

“Earlier today, Tuesday 19 January 2010, police liaison officers were at John Grey High School when they had occasion to restrain a 15-year-old male pupil who had attempted to strike a member of staff,” said Superintendent Adrian Seales. “No arrest was made and enquiries into the incident are ongoing. “I can confirm that a complaint has been received by RCIPS about the police action and a full investigation intothe circumstances will take place.”

Officials at the Department of Education Services said they were not free to give a full explanation of the day’s events. However, Chief Education Officer Shirley Wahler did say that, while some parents came to collect their children, they had been encouraged to leave their children at school. At no time was there any announcement that the schools had closed, and when CNS talked to her mid-morning, Wahler said that classes were back in session and that calm had returned to government schools and any confusion had been resolved.

The CEO said that each school had been given an initial inspection and there appeared to be no damage but that facility officers were conducting detailed check at each campus.

Related article: Ministry keeping mum on school violence

Category: Headline News

Comments (76)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Too much blame is being put on the schools…the parents who panicked and overreacted by heading down to the schools didnt exactly help an already potentially chaotic situation.  Of course when kids see parents outside waiting they are notgoing to listen to teachers etc….parents needed to relax and let the teachers do their jobs…it was a 5.9 earthquake not a cat-5 hurricane for goodness sake!

    • Duh!!! says:

      And this morning’s 5.9 (revised from 6.1) aftershock in Haiti was big news…  I doubt you are a parent or you would have understood the reaction – if you are a parent – god bless your kids – they have a lot more fighting to do on their own if their parents desert them in this situation…

      • Get real says:

        There was a hysterical over-protective over-reaction by parents in a group scale which highlighted many of the poor parenting issues which are giving rise to serious societal problems with young adults in Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think anyone is saying there is a difference in the private / public school kids, its more of how the administration side of things is handled so very different. It seems there is more order and  prevntative processes that are already in place to prevent "panic" when something happens. This may also be able to implemented because they are not overcrowded like the public schools. 

      Firstly, I think government needs to be in direct contact with the media (radio, news, CNS etc.) to ensure the same messages are being broadcasted clearly.  If this were done a lot of the confusion that took place at the schools could have been avoided by simply announcing "school will remain open and everything is under control. When parents hear on the "marl road" that chaos is breaking out at the schools, they respond by going down to check things out for themselves and sometimes not using their best judgement when they arrive.

      The schools need to have direct contact by having an updated email list or text list for all parents, updated bulletins could advise parents the status of the situation. This was very useful for the private schools and prevented "panic".

      The parents role should be "behavior as example", if parents are anxious or become confrontational with school officials or security this will result in kids doing the same. parents don’t fuel the fire. 

      And lastly, to our children please start taking some pride in yourselves by showing respect to your elders no matter who they may be. This is the "true Caymanian way" older caymanians raised up their children to show all adults respect (including teachers, helpers, security/police neighbours etc.)

       

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why is congratulations in order to all these schools.  It appears that eveyone is just to outdo the other.  My child; 5 years old attends Savannah Primary School, after the shaking stopped, I contacted the school secretary was told all was in order, children were safe and school will continue as normal.  I got in touch with one of my son’s teacher at John Gray was told that there were some disturbances however school will not be dismissed until usual time.  I went back to work, as there was no need for me to go and collected them.

    For those of you who are praising the private schools and putting down the public school, let me tell you something the private schools have issues, their children are no saints, only that they handle their matters differently.  My son who is now in university attended a private school so I know what I am talking about.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean they handle their matters better.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 16;06:

      Why should the private school kids be saints? Of course they’re not, they are kids. But how many of the murdered druggie young men we are all so worried about over the last God knows how many years and the murderers in Northward went to private schools?

      NOT A BLOODY ONE!

    • aurevoir says:

      of course you know exactly what you’re talking about.  that private school that put your child through university sure did you a disservice…

      • SUGA says:

        Ima sure she is nto saying that – you must be ahving a bad day… you and I both know that private or public. Kids have the opportunity to go to college.

        what the person is saying is that private schools are not always as nice as some people may think it has its own issues as well.

        And I agree with her it has some of the same issues that public schools have – ummh HELLER.. if you have any common sense you would have understood.

        remember that you can be placed in the best schools and still not arrive at at university gate- the draw backs of life have no prejudice therefore what is anyones guarantee that a private school will excell your education?

        Pilar Bush went to public school and what a great woman what an absolutely intelligent lady….

        So lets focus on the main point the public schools have bigger numbers and need better contingent plans that is all……….

        BTW both of my kids went to private school – them and their freinds had the same issues I faced when i attended public school.

        I LOVE CAYMAN!!!! AND I LVOE THE CAYMANIAN PEOPLE MAY WE BE BETTER TOWARDS EACH OTHER. LOVE AND UNITY LOVE AND UNITY……

        LETS SAY HELLO TO EACH OTHER WHEN WERE IN THE MALL IN ANOTHER COUNTRY.. SMILE

         

         

         

  3. Anonymous says:

     

    I would like to say that perhaps John Gray was a mess but the experience I had with George Hicks particularly with New Horizon was different. A teacher called (Janet) said that the child I was caring for wanted to speak to me. The child wanted to come home I asked Ms Janet’s opinion she said that from a parent’s prospective taking the child home would be best. She let me know I had to sign the child out, which I did. It was all very orderly. Nothing I would or could complain about.
     
    Having said that I would like for the authorities that be to help come up with a plan that would help parents plan on picking up children if there was a serious threat to the schools. For instance where would be the saftest place for parents to meet children in the event of a gas leak to Texaco, Esso or Home Gas? I mean where would parents collect their children – not along Walkers Road or Winsor Park. So where? Another scenario would be an earthquake with a sumani warning – where would be the safest place to collect children – it wouldn’t be south sound. Hazard Management suggests parents come up with a plan so please up us plan.
     
    Thank you Ms Janet at New Horzorn for your humanity wise planning.
  4. SUGA says:

    I am proud to say that RBPS had it under control my child could tell me what has to be done when the signal for the earthquake is given (the signal is the ringing of the bell 5 times) I called up there and the schools counselor said all was well under the curcumstances – the kids were calm parent were coming for thie kids but that no news of the schools closing had been given and hence the clases were resuming. Now they are smaller kids and do not have a complete understanding of the devastaion in Haiti – the bigger kids must have been terrified and paronoid this is no excuse for obnoxtious behavior. with an event like yesterdays it is normal to have some controvesy but we as caymaninas need to stop laying the blame and making it sound like we are the worst people in the world. People nothing like this could have been a smoth transition and I am not laying blame anywhere. Lets be more positive, lets focus more on the solution in an optimitic manner.

    I see no other nation in this island that fights against each other like we do, why cant we get a long? it would be good for the minsiter to advise ont eh child who was injured and sent to Jamaica, and on yesterdays events. But things do take time and we cannot always get what we want when we want it.

    To the teachers and principle of RBPS well done…. and keep up the good work.

    let walk better caymaninas lets be nicer to each other and lets stop passing down the dysfunctional behavior of hating on our own to our children. is the world nto hard enough ? then why do we keep breathign annimosity towards each other? why cayman?

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    I would like to congratulate the teachers and staff of St Ignatius.  Apart from a slight confusion whereby the radio station broadcast that the school was closing when it was not. A brief telephone call sorted that one out.  I knew my child was safe and in good calm hands.  They have an emergency procedure which was followed.  Thank you all at St Ignatius.

  6. CaymanLover says:

    I would just like to compliment the fast, efficient and serious manner in which Kids Adventures Preschool handled yesterday’s quake.  The kids were immediately removed and taken to the annex and parents could come and collect their children.  I was comforted in knowing my child was safe and I just wanted to express my heart felt thanks!

  7. Anonymous says:

    The quake did not cause the chaos. A broken school system overburdened by arrogant children, born to ignorant parents,  operated by sub-standard educators, stifled by an unresponsive bureaucracy, mixed it with a little bit of drug abuse and a society that permits breaches of standards with impunity, caused the chaos. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Excuse me but not all children or parents are examples of what you are portraying in this comment so i kindly suggest you clean your own closet before looking into other people’s. Anyone in their right minds would panic with this situation including grown adults. Please refrain from such IGNANT comments. And yes i did say "ignant" not "ignorant" because ignorance is too light for a comment like this

      • on island and dealing with it says:

        Spoken like a true arrogant parent.

      • Anonymous says:

        "Anyone in their right minds would panic with this situation"

         

        All I can say is WOW!

        So all of us that didn’t panic are not in our right minds?

         

      • aurevoir says:

        You’re absolutely 100% correct – anyone in their right "minds" would panic because panic will certainly help an already chaotic situation…nothing like a little bit of panic to straighten out an out-of-control situation… 

    • Quaking With Fear says:

      You’d better be careful what you say, you’ll have the Human Rights Gestapo all over you.

      But since some of these elements in our society insist on behaving like snarling animals, perhaps they have waived such rights?

      It’s no point looking to the government, they are clueless from the top to the bottom.

    • on island and dealing with it says:

      With the leaderships answers to all problems being" Let me eat cake" This IS Caymans future.  Bad as it is now someday soon this will be the Good Ole Days.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why is this story here?  It seems like CNS are stirring the pot.  Sure there was probably a bit of confusion at the schools, and everywhere else! This isbeing blown out of proportion and typical sensationalist media reporting. Please CNS don’t become like the tabloid newspapers overseas with their shock-value headlines.

    CNS: Or perhaps communication from the ministry is an issue that needs addressing.

  9. Anonymous says:

    These aged children have watched the devastation in Haiti on their tv and understand the severity of it.  They were terrified as I am sure the teachers were too.  If the teachers did leave they probably were going to their own children or other family members but should have notified someone but I guess during the situation they didn’t think about that.  I can understand the irrational thinking as I also left my job immediately to pick up my young child from daycare as many parents did.  No one knew if that earthquake was the final one for the day or would lead to more so everyone did what they thought was best for themselves and loved ones. 

  10. Twyla Vargas says:

    I MUST CONGRAGULATE the Principal and teachers of the BodenTown Primary School.   They were on top of things, and everything done in order. 

    No question if we had a catastrophic event,  the Bodden Town Primary , the  Principal and her crew had things well under contol i a quick ad orderly manner.   The little ones were amazing, so well behaved and following orders like little solders.

    Same thing can be said about  The Cayman Acadamy.   Excelent, excellent job was done, in having things under control, Principal, and teachers from these schools did an exceptional good job. and I believed it was noticed by parents and guardians.  Tell  them you are proud of them.

     

  11. A parent who cares about my kids' future says:

    It’s started already – the baying for blood over what happened yesterday. It’s the school’s fault, it’s the teachers’ fault, it’s the Department’s fault. Check out the CNS polls. Look at "What’s the biggest obstacle facing Caymanians in the workforce?" (most votes = poor attitude) and "What’s most to blame for the rise in crime? (most votes = POOR PARENTING!!!!!!)

    In other words, you the parents are responsible for the lack of respect at school and the lack of respect after school. We have already produced a generation of out of control, unemployable Caymanians, and now you want to undermine what little control the teachers have after you all have finished telling your kids that they do not need to listen to them because they’re foreigners. Your precious little darlings couldn’t possibly EVER be in the wrong. The police are too rough with them, the teachers push them too hard. Poor things! Never mind. They can always live on handouts when they finish school illiterate and rude.

    Wonder why the teachers at the private schools had things under control? Because the parents care about their kids’ education enough to teach them to respect authority and listen to their teachers. There is no need for police to be on duty at the private schools. Why is that?

    If Rolston doesn’t come out in strong support of his staff then he’s part of the problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you  A parent who cares about my kids’ future !!!!! These are my thoughts exactly. I could not believe the behaviour of some of the parents yesterday. You would have thought it was a bunch of pre-school children not grown teenagers who should know better!! Children need to be led by example and if you have a bunch of unruly parents barging into the school trying to collect their "babies" things will of course escalate.

      We have a lot of work to do in this society if we ever want to turn things around!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

         I respect what you are trying to say here but you need to realize that everyone was in fear of their lives especially when it comes to kids we needed to make sure that safety is their number one priority.   So no matter how the behaviour was with other parents, I felt what they were going through, we need to excuse that and thank God our lives were all spared.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, you’re absolutely right – let’s once again make a small exception and excuse the abysmal behaviour of many…just this last time, that’s it…no more excuses after this…seriously…none…no more, this is it, this is the final time that we’ll excuse anything…for now. until tomorrow, or later today.  that’s it, no more excuses…

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a parent for George hicks & John gray I like most parents were worried at first, whenhearing on the news that the schools were under control and hearing from hazard management I was much more at ease, and started to consentrate on the rest off my family, I felt quite secure that my kids were in school and they would be taken care off ,until the parent called in the talk show and said John Gray school was out of control, I then went to the school and got my kid from John Gray through the office of course and she was in tears for the teachers did nothing to console our kids and she confirmed the stories that we were hearing on the radio if the teachers were scared that they grab their keys and left the children alone and scared if the teachers were scared what makes you think the kids wouldnt be?

      • Just Sayin says:

        "I am a parent forGeorge hicks & John gray"

        You must be really old. While I understand what you meant to say, your rambling is a shining testament to what actually transpired and who is actually to blame. You actually went to the school based on a call to radio complaints show from another inept parent? Come to thik of it, perhaps Austin, Gilbert and Ezzard are as much to blame for the chaos that ensued as anyone else. 

    • Amen,amen, to your answer, "Poor Parenting, Bad attitudes, we have lost our values, parents stop allowing your children to take control and manipulating the issues and tell the truth, you are making things worse by speaking such obscene statements in front of your children, watch what you say in front of them and teach them to have respect for others, we are loosing our values daily.Be responsible for your actions.  Get rid of the "I hate you attitude" walk with a smile, its good for ya.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I know that the school has an fire/earthquake evacuation procedure in place. There are also practice drills that take place.

    Unfortunately, this incident could have probably been avoided if the school had a procedure to deal with the throngs of parents and concerned legal guardians that decended on the school demanding the see their children. I’m sure this was not planned for and is something that needs to be addressed.

    I don’t blame parents for wanting to ensure their children are ok but parents must remember that it must be done in a controlled orderly manner. I’m not sure that their sudden visit to the school didn’t overwhelm the school staff and make the situation harder to control.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      I do not believe that any institution would ever foresee or envision the need to implement a plan to deal with a bunch of irrational adults!! The schools cannot be blamed for this. Shorts of implementing electrical fences or steel door that is. Perhaps it is quiet natural that some people panicked and behaved irrationally given the situation in Haiti. However, people should stop casting blame and use this as a learning experience for the entire COUNTRY in better coping in these situations.

  13. Anonymous says:

     

    Children are children, and are expected to behave immaturely,  but at the same time they become very strong minded and willful at this age…  Saying that, this whole incident is the schools fault…  they should be prepared to manage these children in the case of an emergency, and to control them when they panic… considering they outnumber the teachers 10 to 1. I am hoping that theirs an investigation into why the schools emergency system failed…
     
    …. And if it can be proven that any teachers left the compound, they should be dismissed no questions asked…!!! After all there’s always two more ready to take there place…!!!
    • Anonymous says:

      I agree – but is it not embarassing that only children in Government Schools behaved immaturely. So far as I can tell there were no issues of fear, panic, or chaos in any private school.

      There are some kids capable of learning in Government schools. They should be protected and moved to the private sector. For at least 6 months we should stop trying to educate the others – education cannot work if there is no discipline. We literally need to spend 6 months turning the schools into training camps. Line up when we say line up, no questions. Stop when we say stop. Speak when we say speak. say please. Say thank-you. Say sorry. Hold doors open for others. Say good morning. Stop shoving. Tuck your shirt in. Cut off access by unruly parents. Arrest those that swear in the presence of youth and ignore requests from school authorities.

      Watching a hard working and dedicated teacher with a megaphone being overtly ignored buy a group of slovenly and unemployable wasters as  was the case on last-night’s news was too much.

      Fix it now, or we are all sunk.

       

      When it is fixed we can worry about teaching them to read and write.

       

      • Anonymous says:

         Embedded in your second paragraph you say that police should "arrest those that swear in the presence of youth & ignore requests from school authorities"… what age are you talking about, i.e. in what grade levels should a restriction such as this occur?

        Second question: What about every single student seen on television was "unemployable?"

        Third: Since only Caymanian youth go to public schools, I am assuming that when you say "there are some kids capable of learning in Government schools," you mean that the majority are special needs & so the ‘normal’ ones must be plucked out of the system? 

        Finally – please elaborate on ‘unruly parents’….

  14. Anonymous says:

    With all this being said with regard to other schools I would like to publically say how impressed I was with the way that Cayman Prep on the Smith Road Primary site handled the situation.

    My children attend that school and as soon as I felt the shake I immediately drove there. As I drove in it was clearly apparant that they had put in practise what they had been drilling for the past many years.

    All the children were in neat lines sitting on the school field. The teachers were there with the children monitoring the situation.

    I decided at that point since everything was under control I could return to work. As soon as the all clear was issued I got an email from the school detailing everything that had been done directly after the quake.

    Later in the day I got yet another debrief from the school.

    Thank you to everyone at CPHS. It is a comfort to know that when our children are in your care you exercise all due care and attention.

    To the other schools please put in face a better emergency plan. Our children are our most valuable asset.

     

     

     

  15. Anonymous says:

    "What did the Five Fingers Say to the Face?" – I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Some of these lil phops nowadays are too out of order and their parents are setting no example by being just as ignorant. As far as I’m concerned, some of these kids need to haul up their pants, pull down their skirts, lose the diamond studs and caked-on make up, stop the drinking, partying, running away every couple of months to look man and concentrate on their eduation. The teachers are working tirelessly to make them into respectable adults and you people are out there criticizing them. Shame on you!

  16. tired says:

    It is my understanding that all of senior management were offsite and there was no way to communicate with assembled mass so naturally panic/chaos ensued. Perhaps any meeting that requires all school decision makers to attend should be held on campus from now as an official policy on in case idunno there is an earthquake or fire or riot or all of the above!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I  agree 100%  with 8.14 regarding the situation that happen yesterday at JGHS as a parent that has a child going there. I was very surprise of the way that the teachers was handling the situation i can imagine them as adults was scared you can only imagine what the kids felt .The teachers was causing more of and chaos than the kids where. I feel in a situation like what happen yesterday the schools should allow the Children  to leave with there parents once that Child is  accountable for i dont care what clear we had i as and adult once i got my children and knew that they where ok I didnt want to go back in to my office building  of that fear . I feel that the education dept needs to have a training seminar in place for all schools regarding situations like these . As for schools i have to say a big thank you to the staff and teachers of JACPS the kids where scared but the staff keep things under control thank you.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I was told the 15 year that had been restrained by the RCIP had been bleeding… from what am not to sure…but if that is a fact that is VERY disappointing on the RCIP behalf they should not be using force such as that to cause a 15 year old to bleed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, the boy was bleeding

    • Anonymous says:

      Why police does not react same way with the gang drug dealers all over the islands?

      It was just a little boy at school

      Why too many policemen at school?

    • Think says:

      If you truly believe everything you are "told". I am telling you right now that you are an idiot and I am very disappointed in you.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I was at school at that time and the boy just said in front of me that he was going out of the school.

    He never tried to strike the principal.

    It was the principal, XXXXXX, order two policemen to arrest the boy.

    The XXXX policemen knock down the boy in front of every body and strike him several times.

    XXXXXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      SHAME ON THE RCIP!

      That is just….so upsetting …& as a graduate of JGHS 08′ if it is still the same RCIP officers on the grounds I don’t put it pass him I personaly have seen him & her handle the young teens as if they were big men or women! SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT THIS!!!

      To the parent/s of this young man, I am sure you are greatly upset as I would be too. God be with you, as you bring justice to this incident.

    • UniqueCommonSense says:

      If what you are saying is correct, please tell your friend/school mate to have his mother/father/aunt/uncle/sister/brother to contact a lawyer. This type of behavior by any authority is ABUSE. Its time those in authority learn to RESPECTULLY communicate with all persons, regardless of age or intelligence.

      I encourage you to be prepared to stand-up and tell the truth! We need to learn very quickly on how to be our ‘brothers’ keeper’, i.e. we need to start caring and standing-up for each other, those we love, our people!

    • Anonymous says:

      I find it hard to believe the RCIP would just knock a "child" down and strike them infront of lots of witnesses. This just doesn’t add up and is completely one sided.

      I’m sure this "little boy" isn’t as innocent as the posters here are portraying him to be.

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      I am  sorry to hear about the situation with the police and a student, but if you were there you would see that the kids were so frightened they were losing their minds.  I spoke with two students, from the High school on campus (male) They were screaming their heads off crying for their parents and want to go home.

      I was at the Heritage High school yesterday amids this situation and this is what I saw.    I saw very scared an frightened bunch of children, running, walking rapidly crying, having panic attack, asking to be taken home and just in a daze. 

        To tell you the truth I really felt sorry for them.   No one could control them.   Teaches tried, security guarsds tried, but it was totally impossible.    really I would not blame any of the teachers, principal or security guards.  They just  could not handle a situation suchas that.   A bunch of children even came to me asking me to take them home.   I told them I could not.    I saw fear and sadness in their yes.    One student said that he felt the building leaning to the side and he began crying.   Another from John grey, said he fell  off his chair and when heard someone say Earth quake, he ran outside.   Another child said that two boys hd got into one ofthe buses and started it to drive away, but th keys were taken away from him before th could do that.  Some scaled the fence and took for the road side trying to get home as quickly as possible. 

        It was a serious but amusing thing to watch, but please do not be hard on the Principals and their staff.  They tried their  best, but their best was not working    It was impossible to calm the situation.   I am not surprised hat the police had to be called.   I saw students jerkig away  from the security guards when they tried to calm them and keep them in.    It was impossible.    The gates were closed, but every hole in the wall a child was trying to get through it.   No one could have handled the situation in a physical way withot somene getting hurt.   

      My thoughts were that, Maybe the school should install a system with outside speakers, an when there is a situation like this they start playing some nice carbbean music.   Music does depending what we use, does activate the minds of everyone and put them in a good mood.   I believe it would have changed the minds of the students and make them relax.   Just a  thought.   But dont blame anyone, the children was frightened and panicked it was impossible to calm them.

      • Anonymous says:

        Twyla – If what you say is right, how do you explain how expat children dealt with the same situation with no drama, no stealing buses, no scuffles with the police? How about saying the response of the children was a disgrace – and everyone better "man up" for the competitive world they are in. In my office Caymanians and Expats dealt with it calmly and efficiently. No screaming or wailing or panic or chaos. We as a people need to grow up – and when our children let us down we need to say so and not placate their spoiled histrionics or those of their parents.  It was scary. It was troubling. Deal with it. Be grateful you are not in Haiti and we were lucky (or blessed) – but either way the measure of a people is how it deals with adversity.

        We collapsed at a 2 second tremor. Heaven help those if they ever have a real challenge. Haitians with everything lost and no family members alive are dealing with their circumstances with greater dignity than our youth confronted with 20 minutes of an overburdened cell phone system.

        I am embarassed.

        • The Law says:

           This is not Twyla Mae but i’m here trying to figure out how Twlya makes sense and you dont?  If u had listen closely to what she said, maybe you would had gotten a better understanding…. and where do the embrassment part come in?  

          • Anonymous says:

            Because the future generation of my own people cannot cope with what amounted to a 30 minute interruption of cell phone service. Their ancestors could bring an 80 foot hand – built schoonerthrough a hurricane, or lose their lives trying, without losing their cool and comportment like many did yesterday. You proud of that?

        • anonymous says:

           

          I am appaled at all the vicious arguments that take place  in these forums. Most of the arguments is challenging the Christian Beliefs chosen by our Caymanianian people, and we have every right to our beliefs.Those that oppose our religious beliefs of christianity, you can leave on the next flight we won’t miss you. Just get saved if you want to go to heaven., you must be born again..

          Insead  of arguments We should be thanking God for sparing our lives once more. We should be mindful that God maybe  speaking to the Cayman Islands through the threat of an earthquake. There seems to be a sentiment amongst some that God is dead, or He does not exist and there is a spirit of anti-christ that pounces on  those who are Christians. This is unfair and disrespectful.  God help us if these God haters are teaching our children in school, then it  can only produce radical criminals. 

          The Cayman Islands immigration decision makers should be very careful of who comes into these islands. People are entering this country from jurisdictions where the religious beliefs are anti christian anti-christ and anti anything that is concerning  Godly principles.  The Immigration Board  requirements  should require on all application forms for Work Permits questions regarding religion,and moral questionaire. I can not believe the rotten attitude and rotten characters that have been imported into this country over the past year or two They are  spiritual hooligans with no moral  sense of direction. They are terrorizing our christians, We do not have to put up with this. Long live the rollover policy Big Mac don’t you dare touch it.

          Mr. Bush please stop granting Cayman Status and importing all these heathens into this country causing us harm.

          They are bringing down curses on the country. Mr. Bush have you studied any theology at all, well you need to. Every country and continent  is ruled by a particular principality, that opposes God and everything like God.They are assigned against  the inhabitants,  making our lives miserable.

          These foreigners that McKeeva Bush is importing into this country is bringing their curses with them from their countries that were already  cursed.They worship strange Gods some of them. The sun, moon, rats and so forth. St. Lazarro, a cow, and much more…….Cayman is going to hell in a hand basket. The spirit of the anti-christ is present in the Cayman Islands, and christians must be careful, fast and pray unceasingly.

          Cayman is now a melting pot of Evil and there needs to be a Holy Ghost revival taking place, t is the only hope for our children and our young people..

          Its time to keep Cayman Clean and protected from the strange people with their strange religious concepts and their strange Gods/.

          God bless Juliana Occonnor- Conolly. Juliana Keep them out of our schools, I do not want  those athiests and God haters teaching my children. We need christian teachers even in the public schools. We must screen these care givers, we must know who is with our kids 7-8 hours every day, its important.

          Let us pray. In the name of Jesus Christ the Son of the living God.

          • Young Caymanian says:

             What a lovely example of Christian principle!  Would you like a side of bigotry to go with your hypocrisy?  Really now, it is people like you who give Christians a bad name with your hate spewing and disrespect to those of other religions or a lack thereof.  

            I think someone should reread their bible, specifically the New Testament where Jesus preaches LOVE, ACCEPTANCE and TOLERANCE to others no matter who they are.  After that, you should bring the argument back to the issue at hand: there needs to be a generalised emergency situation procedure in place in all the schools.  Also, parents (as well as others) should learn and/or realise that panic breeds even more panic.

          • Anonymous says:

             wow, a christian taking it to new depths, lovely set of beliefs you have there. Are you the same christian who said that the death on the cruise ship was punishment from god for being gay. 

            When will we ban fundamentalist christians from these good shores. please America, send your troops in to stamp out this curse like you are doing in Afganistan. There is no place for fundamentalism in this world. Hate is hate – you come across as particularly hateful and evil. Lets hope your god is equally hateful and evil otherwise he may not be so impressed with you come judgement day.

      • Anonymous says:

        Funny how the private school kids behaved impeccably, with hardly a hint of panic and yet the public school kids ran screaming and crying. Perhaps Twyla it is the kids that are to blame here. We need to stop blaming the teaches, the security and the principles, its the little thugs that suddenly realised that they aren’t all that, that are to blame. Pathetic really, 2 second tremor and these gang banger kids cry for mum, while just up the road the private school kids followed the practiced evacuation proceedure to the T, with dignity and respect.

        I’m actually guessing that some of these kids were just using it as a great opportunity for anachary, stealing buses for goodness sake. Disgusting opportunists. Others just thought they would get the rest of the day off from school. I saw JG and they were having a whale of a time these kids. They didn’t look paniced or scared at all.

  20. Anonymous says:

    What ensued at JGHS yesterday was terrible and highlights that the school has no plan in place that is able to handle such an event.

    Personally, I feel that the schools should have allowed and encouraged parents to collect their children. This was a frightening experience for adults, so imagine what it was like for those children…let us remember that these students are children!

    Some of them have also been watching what happened in Haiti and that made the situation worse especially because the teachers were unable to quell the students’ fears. This only served to heighten anxiety.

    Worse they want to suspend the children for their lack of control!

    Furthermore, the Chief Education Officer did nothing to assure the parents that their children were safe when she announced that school was still in session and that building checks were to continue throughout the day. Obviously, neither she nor anyone else could actually say that the buildings at the JGHS were safe for occupation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also take into addition that a student called into the talkshow this morning and recounted her experience in which teachers told students to remain calm and stay at the school while the teachers then proceeded to "jump into their cars and spped away."

      • Anonymous says:

        My granddaughter who attends JGHS also told me that some teachers were no-where to be found and another teacher wouldn’t allow the students out of the classroom.  As to the incident with the student jumping the fence the way I heard it was that the father was there to pick up his daughter who was told she could not leave and it was her father who instructed her to jump the fence.  These teachers(so called) need to realize that this was very traumatic for a lot of these kids and panic was to be expected.  The teachers need to learn the meaning of the word compassion.  It would go a long way in earning the respect of the students.

        • Anonymous says:

          There is no excuse for teenagers refusing to follow the instructions of the teachers and staff, and police, during an emergency. Those kids are not babies and should know better. They should be embarrassed by the contrast between their conduct and that of the little kids at the elementary schools. As far as the teachers abandoning their posts and some of the parents raising cain, that’s just the other side of the same coin.

        • Anonymous says:

          Very traumatic? Panic was to be expected? It is OK for a father to instruct his perfectly safe child to jump a fence against the orders of school authorities? You have to be joking.

           

          What kind iof sheltered existence to you have. Just how ignorant are you?

          • Anonymous says:

            I do not live a sheltered existence but then again I guess when the police can assault "perfectly safe children" it is quite alright with you.  The school did receive damage as did GHHS and although it might seem trivial to you and the kids might act grown up in ways they are still kids.  I saw on the news where quite a few adults were also panicking but no-one had control over them and whether they left an area or not.  Try and have a heart.  Sometimes it helps to be a little more understanding.  The kids are not immune to what happened in Haiti so I am sure they had good reason to panic.  How can you say "perfectly safe kids" when there are different forms of assaults etc. taking place in the schools in Cayman.  Many people panicked yesterday but that is no reason to make matters worse by insuls.

        • SUGA says:

          My child attends the RBPS (RED BAY) and I am proud to report that theri was no drama from the school or children. The teachers were very concerned and gave the students insturctions on how to handle themselves, in the class room or where ever they are when the signal for an earthquake is given by the school bell. IMAGINE THAT.. I am not always in agreement with the methods of this school but when its is time to give the master his due it is time. The teachers and principle of RBPS well done.

          I called up to the school to seeking information about collecting my child the school coniselor answered – I felt good – I was told the kids are under control and calm that there was no notificatin to close the school and that clases were resuming as normal. however if it made me comfortable I could come for my child. needless to say I had to work and I was majorly comforted by the repsonse I received.

          It was a hard day for all of us, and we should be more positive with our children the system the teachers and the children. the devastation in Haiti has been on the news daily I am sure the older children are paronoid – I am nto saying it gives them right to be obnoxious – but given the circumstances it seems like some educating on this natrual diaster an how to react or act ahs tobe given to the entire cayman islands. lets face it soem palces were better prepared than others.

          I had no idea that when the bell rings five times at red bay primary it is the earth quake warning – sounds like a contingencey plan was put in place there – follwing suit maybe a good way to illimiate the caios.

           

          I love the Cayman Islands……..and I am always disturned when so harshly criticise each other – which other nation that has settle here is so harsh, rude, and dis trustful of each other…? not many just us caymaninans

          lets walk better with each other

      • What did the Five Fingers Say to the Face? says:

        People like you are part of the problem. You believe everything that your children tell you. Never are they capable of doing anything wrong in your eyes. The correct thing for the parents to do yesterday would have been to take a drive by teir cild’s school, make sure they were ok, then go back to work and let the school get on with their day. The problems that took place yesterday were as a direct result of ill mannered children, poorly raised and encouraged by their parents to be disobedient, rude and a hazard to other around them. Nothing more.

         

        Slap

        • Anonymous says:

          I can assure you that my child is not ill-mannered and has been raised properly. Several of of the students have attested to seeing teachers leaving the compound amidst the height of confusion; which only served to make the situation worse.

          I also have a good relationship with my child and know when she is telling me the truth from the rare occasion when she is not. Furthermore, my child has no reason to lie about such an incident.

          Stop jumping to conclusions without having your facts in order.

          • anonymous says:

            If it is proven to be true that teachers abandoned the school and their pupils after the earthquake they should be fired.  The children need strong role models and people of courage and conviction to look up to and learn from.

        • Anonymous says:

          So it’s like …. "let someone else be responsible for the safety of my child"? 

    • Anonymous says:

      What happened was teachers and the school trying to control a situation while the parents caused a mess.  What example does this set when the school is telling them to do one thing and the parents are making them do something else?  No wonder there is no respect for authority here and as for the parent who was walking down walkers shout explicits loud enough for all the students he should be arrested and his children turned over to children services.  All the violence nowadays is being blamed on the police, on the schools and on the children but what about the parents, this is where all the violence is starting.  At home.

  21. Expat says:

    oh boy …too much unnecesary drama …heard that some schools were waiting on after shocks…Haiti had one this morning ..one week after …life goes on folks…we got to live with these natural disasters….some of which we can never be prepared for…