Troubled kids to integrate

| 26/09/2011

(CNS): The education minister has revealed that children who have behavioural problems in school will no longer be excluded from the mainstream education system and sent to the Alternative Education Centre. Rolston Anglin said that the AEC is going to close because it has been a “complete failure” as almost three quarters (73%) of former students are currently in jail or have been killed in gang violence. From now on, young people who behave badly in the classroom will be treated within the mainstream system by trained teachers. Those who have very serious behavioural problems that cannot integrate will, once it is completed, attend the new therapeutic centre being developed by the community affairs minister.

Explaining the new approach to dealing with troubled children at a public meeting in West Bay last week, the minister said that the country had to change how it dealt with troubled children as so far it had failed.

“The Alternative Education Centre has been one of the biggest failures this country has ever had,” he said. “Seventy-three percent of children and young people that have gone through the AEC are currently either dead or in Northward prison. That’s the reason why I have taken the decision that it is going to be disbanded and we are going to replace AEC with an inclusion system where we train our teachers and keep our children … even the most challenged, in school.”

There is going to be a small overlap in the school year as the new therapeutic community for young people being created by the community affairs ministry is not yet finished. He said that there would be some youngsters who cannot be integrated in to themainstream system and they will be accommodated within the new therapeutic centre which will be addressing juvenile offenders and young people with severe behavioural problems.

The new centre at Bonaventure, in West Bay, will eventually house the country's juvenile offenders unit as well as provide supervised accommodation for exceptionally troubled youngsters who may not yet been sentenced by the courts.

“There’s going to be some young people for which the mainstream system doesn’t cut it. We have to be realistic about that. Those young people, they will be taken care of and managed at the therapeutic community,” Anglin added.

He said that over the last six years or so, almost every one of the young men that have been shot and killed had not been in high school. He said that when people have called for an overhaul of the entire education system, what people really meant was a reform of how the system deals with at risk youth.

The minister told the people of West Bay that the system now had included technical training courses in the system and workplace programmes. He also said that a new secondary afterschool programme had started to deal with kids between between 3pm and 5:30pm, when it is believed children are most at risk, and some 450 children had already signed up.

“We are trying to get an extended an afterschool programme in every single district for primary schools,” he said, adding that the George Town sports club had taken ownership of the programme that is going to be run out of George Town. He said that educators have known for a long time that between 3pm and 6pm was the most vulnerable time for young people but there has never been any kind of school based activity to fill that time.

Rolston said that the vast majority of the young people currently involved in the gangs did not start after they left school but were already involved in that activity and long before they finished school. “It is often a contributing factor to them going up to AEC and ultimately out of the school system,” the minister stated.

During the meeting the problem of a lack of job opportunities and career progression for Caymanians had been raised by West Bay resident and advocate for local opportunities, Mervin Smith, who pointed to the rising unemployment among local young people as a key contributing factor in the rise in violent crime. He said many of them did not have jobs, whether through choice or circumstance, but one of the young men murdered in West Bay recently had been looking for work and despite making many applications he had no calls back for a job.

Smith spoke for a number of people when he that he believed the forthcoming removal of rollover was likely to make things worse for young people who were failing in the job-market.

However, the education and labour minister said that while creating opportunities for young people to find work was very important and government had to put in mechanisms to create opportunity, it was how the country dealt with its at risk youth from an early age that would influence the levels of criminality.

The AEC was created for students aged 12 to 17 years who had been excluded from high school and was intended to create a different kind of learning environment for troubled youngsters.

Category: Local News

Comments (68)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Comments  are very unfair concerning AEC. Teachers were very attentive , caring and very supportive of individuals in their care. Many went the extra mile to make sure that students were well fed and protected. Some teachers still keep in contact with past students and remember their birthdays and special ocassions. WHAT ABOUT THE MANY WHO ARE DOING WELL IN JOBS. Maybe the Minister forgot to state that 90% of these students were from West Bay, and the 73% who he claims that passed through AEC ended up dead or in prison were very safe while at AEC and were very much alive while attending that institution. If the Teachers were not educated why are they still in the Education System? Why are some of these individuals who were in charge still writing policies in the  Ministry?

    However if the school failed it was not that Teachers did not try with the students, but  maybe the psychologist and all the high paying professionals should spend an hour trying to teach these individuals. I BETafter one hour they will be on the plane to where they came from.

    Shame on the Minister! Put these individuals in normal school and you will have less than 45% passes in external examinations. Take a LOOK AT THE HIGH PERCENTAGE OF PASSES IN THE PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND ONE DOES NOT HAVE TO WONDER WHY.  Good parenting skills and students who want to learn. BLAME THE HOME AND NOT THE SCHOOL. wE expect better of you!

  2. village idiot of Absurdistan says:

    This post is likely not going to be very popular but I truly believe it is a more accurate way to address the problem of unloved, neglected, and ill raised children.

    The statistics presented are fine but the solutions suggested go nowhere near solving the problem. Here is a 3 step program that will be politically unpopular but socially sensible:

    1) Dig deeper into the the backgrounds of these individuals (gangsters, repeat offenders)- right down to the quality of the sperm and the egg. I am serious. How many are fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) offspring? What is the quality of the sperm of the deadbeat dad and should they really be reproducing and will that make a better society?  I have suggested this before- it is about getting to the real root of this problem (genetics and family units)- and applies to any western nation. Because of the relatively small sample size, Cayman would be an ideal place to investigate this. When complete, publish the results!

    2) Next unpopular suggestion. Population control. Limit of two babies per female or male. Both controlled at appropriate points. When baby is born and if it is the second he has fathered, regardless of who the mother is (wife, girlfriend, mistress), he comes in for his vasectomy- no questions asked. If he does not appear, there is a warrant for his arrest. After second birth, mothers tubes are tied.

    End of story. Of course laws would have to be altered to support accordingly. 

    3) Finally, educate, educate, educate around the process. Educate these parents who keep trying to pop out kids they cannot afford. Educate children in school why the two baby rule. Explain to them the cost of raising a baby, and the income required to support one or two children, and then show them what they need to earn to support their family, including buying food, clothing, house etc. 

    I know they is going to be a cry out about giving birth is a human right, but when are when to going to stop looking solely at the individuals rights, and place more emphasis on the "humans rights" and do what is for the greater good of society as opposed to the individuals rights. Far too often individual rights trump what is the greater good for society today and feeds the entitlement mentality.

    Tampering with an education system once the problem child is born is not addressing the real issue. Continuing to mask the real issue will be equivalent to the definition of insanity. 

    Does anyone (Cayman or other world leaders) have the political will to address this issue head on? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Here's an incentive for keeping people out of prison mandatory vasectomy.  Once you are convicted of a violent crime, guns, drugs, rape, murder, the individual has to have a vasectomy in addition to sitting in the prison for however many years. 

      Or let's just make it castration.  Once imprisoned, you are castrated.  Let's start with the rapists, but I really do believe that ALL violent crime should be treated with castration.  That way the lack of fear of going to prison will cease.  Yeah you may only get a few years and will return to society, but you also lose the inability to reproduce.  THANK GOD.  These idiots don't care about their children anyway.  They are only trophies and it is about ego rather than real care for a child.

  3. Dat wa ya get says:

    Trust me, they will fit right in!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    It'll be interesting to see how long this lasts. There were very good reason for the creation of the alternative education unit, and these have not evaporated. Chief among them was the need to provide the vast majority of our students with the opportunity to receive an education unimpeded by the wrecking-ball/off-the-wall disruptive behaviour of a few. I've observed it, as might some of our readers.This is not going to end well. I really wonder about the calibre of advice Mr.Anglin is receiving. I also wonder if those who came up with this idea would themselves be willing to return to the classrooms some of them fled from and deal with the mayhem which will undoubtably occur. No? Well, what a surprise. Advice to the minister : fix whatever needs fixing with alternate education to improve those statistics andleave regular students with at least a fighting chance of obtaining a good education. And get advice from people who actually still practice in the schools.

  5. noname says:

    I had a business here 27 years ago running tourist diving . I had a 3 boat operation a shop and a place where i could fill my own dive tanks.

    One day a old friend of mine came to see me and asked if i could give his son a job. I said i really don't need anyone at the moment . But he told me a story that made me try to help him out with his problem. His problem was his son had knocked out his teacher in a private school. They of course banned him from coming back and the other schools didn't want him either because he was very tall and big . In fact he looked like one of them line backers in american football. He didn't like school he thought it was boring. He of course would make noise and cause a disturbance in the class. So his reputation had preceded him. 

    But he like boats and he wanted to learn to dive. So my first time meeting the young 14 year old boy I explained I didn't need him . But I would try him out for a while  and if he didn't give me no back talk I would teach him as much as he wanted. But first he had to fill tanks and if he was finished i would teach him everyday how to be a certified diver. Well needless to say he became one of my best employees. He became a divemaster. Later on in his life he became a grocery store manager in the states. 

    He became a success in his life due mostly to his father not fighting him. He listened to what his son wanted and found a solution. This is what a father is suppose to do. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    To me it translates as, AEC = small class sizes. Hmmm this seems expensive, why don't we just cram these kids into the already struggling schools, and then the budget savings will look great. With the money saved we can employ more administrators, rather than actual front-line teachers. Yay.

     

    The issue brought up about graduation…it is far worse than allowing students with good attendance and good behaviour to graduate with no academic basis; a great many of these graduates don't actually have what would be termed 'good behaviour', as long as you don't get excluded x amount of days, you can walk the stage.

     

    In this case x = a lot

  7. Anonymous says:

    did you come with this after another late night in the office???????

  8. Anonymous says:

    Only a UDP Minister could call a program with a 73% success rate (identify and remove potential criminals and their influence from the mainstream education system) a "complete failure". I would have to guess that maybe Alden had something to do with the AEC program.

    What the Minister needs to do is have the AEC students visit the prison one day per week, and throw in a few visits per year to the morgue, so they can get a close-up view of their future if they are not willing to mend their ways.

    I don't know who Rolston and the UDP are btrying to buy votes from, but I don't have any to sell.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Talk about talking through your A**, Mr Anglin sure did….what i want to know is where is he sending his kids to school after this policy change?????

  10. Anonymous says:

    Great… Fab news….thanks to our govts lack of ability to deal proactively with these XXXX and their head in the sand parents I must now spend upwards of $900 per month to send my GOOD child to private school. I can only think that this is what the ministers were hoping for. It will certainly lower the costs if they deplete the student enrooment numbers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anglin are you out of your mind???? We have gangs on the streets shooting each other, so far one innocent child killed because of this.  You said yourself the majority are gang members, so now we will have shooting in the schools and more innocent children will get hurt or killed.  This country is in such a mess and it is getting worse and worse by the minute!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Anglin,

    A brief lesson on statistics.

    If we have 2 classes and I take all the smart kids for one and all the dumb kids for the other I can no longer quote statistics comparing the two.

    It would not be fair to say the smart class has a 90% pass rate and the dumb class has a 75% fail rate. becuase you have skewed the sample.

    I suggest you talk to your statistics office befor sprouting statisticly incorrect nonsense. Or is it you are just trying to bamboozle your voters.

    Judging by some posts you have.

             

  12. Todays Special: Sparky Stew says:

    It is a good concept but i think the most attention is needed when they are not at school, the activities after school is what got them dead or in prison.

  13. Chris says:

    Minister Anglin  you are trying your best and we the people support your effort however we need to look at the facts.

    Students are sent to the AEC because they consistently cause serious disruption and hamper the learning of others through anti social behaviour.

    Removing them (and their disruptive behaviour) from the mainstream is not a bad idea. What is important is that we offer real help to these youths. AEC failed not because they young people were on a smaller campus but because these young people were still being force fed an academic curriculum.

    What they need are other avenues to succeed. Opportunity to become a carpenter, plumber, musician, mechanic, mason, etc. change the curriculum in the AEC and you will see change. Integrating gang violence into the mainstream school at this time is a recipe for a Cayman Columbine!  

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    And the question arises: where do certain politicians send their kids to school? if the publicschool system is so good why do they send their kids elsewhere..i mean seriously if the pudding you make is good why don't you eat some of it??

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you will find that not one of them sends their kids to govt. schools and frankly, if its not good enough for theirs, then its not good enough for mine.  Further, if it is not good enough for theirs, why are they not fixing the education system so that it is good enough for everyone.  I would be a lot better off if I didn't have to pay $1,000 per month for my child's education and yes, I tried Govt. school for a while but there were too many issues and that was before and just after Ivan.  I can't imagine what it is like now but have friends with kids there who are facing all sorts of challenges.  I think the teachers are also going through hell because of a lack of respect from some kids and then of course, there are no consequences except suspension which is probably what some of the kids with behavioural problems are aiming for.  Also, I think many people really are "hands on" people.  They have no real interest in academics.  Of couse they should learn to read and write – properly but if they are not cut out for acedemics, they need to have the opportunity to do more hands on courses, such as home ec, woodwork, mechanics, etc.  I also think some sort of scared straight programme could be introduced to tryto shock the kids into straightening up. 

       

  15. Anonymous says:

    Install cameras in the class rooms – send them to the principals office, hell make them sit in the corner and wear a "dunce cap" but do not put them in a class where they cannot learn becuase they are surrounded by individuals who think and act the way they do – which is not really solving the problem now is it????  Make them sit in the front of the class!!!!

  16. learningtospellishard says:

    A thank you to the minister. I was having difficulty trying to decide wether to send my daughter to government school or private school – I know the answer now!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Talk about turning a blind eye to the real problems.  Is it not terribly short-sighted and completely irrational and counter-productive to take a handful of troublemakers and put them into schools where they will cause the majority of the scholars to have a more difficult and troubled time getting an education???.  How can anyone with any sense think this is the best solution to the problem with our troubled kids???  The fact is the troublemakers mostly come from homes where parents are trouble themselves, or they don't care and are not training their children to fit into the mainstream.  They accept and tolerate and even support their childrens bad behavior, including attacking teachers who try to discipline them.  For those parents who have practiced good parenting and still have bad kids, I am sure they would tell you their child will not fit into a normal curriculum and that it is not a solution.  First of all these kids should be identified and weeded OUT of the mainstream, NOT into it.  And for those who have been selected to have that opportunity to participate in the school progrmas, there should be some contract with the parents and the judiciary that they will be held accountable for their childrens bad behavior including serving jail time for certain offences.  For this to work, new laws have to be passed which at this time in our society is way overdue.  If we are going to get a grip on crime and try to save the youth of this island its time to take a tougher stance, not a more lenient one, and certainly not one that is going to put the majority of our youth at risk to accommodate the bad eggs that will probably always be bad eggs until they too get shot.  The truth is a leopard is still a leopard even if you cover up the spots. 

  18. Just Commentin' says:

    I am certainly concerned by some of the implications of this article.

    I see some very bright red flags here. What is meant by integrating students with "behavioural problems" into the "mainstream system"? Does this mean that students with behavioural problems will be attending regular classes in regular schools? Or, special classes in regular schools? Or…?

    Did Anglin identify the types of behavioural problems that a student can exhibit and stilll be placed within the main system. What is the difference between a regular behavioural problem and a "very serious" one? How and by whom are these students assessed before being allowed into the mainstream system?

    What is meant by "trained teachers"? I thought all teachers had to be "trained" (i.e possess a degree and teaching certification); does Anglin mean teachers with specialised training and certification to deal with "behavioural problems"? I would certainly hope so.

    I am a bit apprehensive of the statement "Those who have very serious behavioural problems that cannot integrate will, once it is completed, attend the new therapeutic centre being developed by the community affairs minister". Does this mean that until the "new therapeutic centre" is completed, students with "very serious" problems will be attending regular schools? This would be absolutely unacceptable! Could someone please elabourate?

    And…! If the thereputic centre is such a great idea why not send all students with "behavioural problems" there?

    And…!  If 73% of the students passing through the ACE programme ended up "dead or in prison", this would indicate that they were some really bad eggs in the group. No? Suppose attending "mainstream" school cuts this by half – this would still mean that our good kids might be going to school with some very, very bad eggs. I somehow cannot view this as being a good thing for our good students.

    And…! If we "mainstream" wannabee little ganstas with the idea that we should give them a chance to overcome their badness and forget past mistakes, it is a repugnant hypocrisy to turn pregnant females out of "mainstream" high school. I wonder if anyone cares enough to give us some stats on young mothers this happens to?

    • Anonymous says:

      For goodness sakes, it took government SIX FRIGGIN YEARS to figure out it wasn't working???? And we just keep voting them in…..we must be the stupidist people on the planet.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Integrating violent and disruptive pupils in the mainstream does not work. The politicians who suggested this have clearly never had to deal with physically violent and verbally abusive children in the classroom. It is not fair to expect mainstream teachers to deal with such pupils.

    The teachers will be intimidated, and the other pupils will miss out on their chance to learn because of the disruption caused by the troublemakers. Instead of putting the rights of a selfish minority first, consider the rights of the majority of peaceful children who want to learn, to an education free from bullying, intimidation and fear. The UK went down the same path some years ago and it has been a complete disaster- rapes and sexual assualts in schools, metal detectors on the doors, cctv in the corridors,children bringing weapons to school, teachers threatened verbally, physically.

    I suggest all parents resist this move vigorously, there is nothing 'wrong' with having a school where specialists in emotionally challenged pupils can work in a smaller and more controlled setting. this should not be a bar to academic achievement if managed properly. I say, improve the special school, don't close it.

     

     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Mon 15;00: I was going to post a long comment until I read yours and decided you had hit the nail on the head. A well respected Headmaster said many years ago at a PTA (it was called that at that time) that 5% of the students in his school were causing 90% of the problems (the parents were very supportive and in agreement, the education ministry was  not). Is that not exactly how it is in our society today? The AEC (formerly AEP) was created with two broad purposes: One: to try to give the students with terrible beviour problems a chance to settle down in smaller classes away from the large school compounds where they loved to strut their bullying disruptive stuff. This may have failed. Two: To allow the vast majority of students with "normal" behaviour to continue their schooling relatively free of the violence, threats, bullying, extortion of lunch money etc etc that the 5% perpetrated on them. This succeeded to a significant extent. If the 5% are returned, chaos will reign again. But of course it wont be Rolston or his Chief Officer or other civil servants in his ministry (so very glad they are not in the classroom anymore) that will have to put up with it.

      The private schools are going to see their enrollments increase dramatically.

  20. Anonymous says:

    A great political solution has serious implications for educational aministrators in order to make it a  good educational solution.  This is a fair response to a long standing problem.  "What to do with chronically disruptive students in an inclusive system".  The private schools have solved this problem all over the world, they either skim the best and the brightest or expel any student with chronic behaviour problems.

    The public school system has no choice as they are legally bound to accept all or provide services for those who are beyond normal classroom control.  Alternative schools are the norm in all systems as the experts know that there is greater cost benefit for the majority of students when these challenged students are removed.  Ask any teacher, trained or not about the degree of progress that could be made when these at risk youth are absent.

    In all truth the number of these students is small, they have more than one problem usually associated with parenting issues, lack of boundaries, respect issues, and a misplaced sense of entitlement.  The answers lie more in the flexibility of the system in modifying the curriculum to allow these students more choice in subjects that really engage them while teaching them the required social skills. 

    The Minister does have a point, total exclusion may just be the trigger (no pun intended) that drives these youth to see anti social behaviour and joining gangs as the only way out. Keeping these students  in the normal stream is commendable but school administrators must be given the tools to offer these students a wider array of choices.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Any school system which allows one to graduate high school based simply on attendance and good behaviour and not because of any level of academic achievement is clearly one of the biggest failures of our school system.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Age 12 is far too late for the government to intercede in a child's life. 

     

  23. Anonymous says:

    sometimes you have to wonder what these elected members is thinking  with the crap they are doing . If the teachers couldnt handle these student before how the hell are they going to do  so now. They only thing i see this is going to causeis for the  other kids thats trying to accomplish something in school a step back.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Charity begins at home: I just want to add that unless we firstly, deal with the homes in which these children are coming from, there will  we be no help for them –  I dont care who develop a system unless its based on  Love, Compassion and Integrity  we will find our self repeating the same thing again.

    Government should first of all seek to have a home for unwanted abandonments, our society is full of them.  All these children that cause all of this heart ache to the country are coming from neglect.  If a parent is not capable of raising their children, for what ever reason, be it drug addiction, poverty, or absolutely not  capable (non-functional) the government should be in a position to go into the home and save these children.

    Once goverment has a proper placement structure for these children their Campuss should be staffed with one marshal, and the other staff should be made of of locals people who knows and care for the youth.  This should not just be considered on a qualified basis, but rather made up of love, compassion and integirity among the staff, people who care about the youth, their parents and our country – not people who are just doing the job for  a salary.

    I trust that Mr. Rolstone will look beyond qualification and geer his programms from Love and Compassion- people who can show these children love and compassion instead of casting them asisde from an early age.

    May God Bless us all as we strive with the governmet, and may Mr.Rolstone listen to the voice of the people.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Most governments in all countries have made the calculation that it is the cheapest way of getting rid of misadjusted youngsters; to let them erase each other.

    If the youngsters only knew about this calculation… but I guess they never will. If they did, they would act smarter and stick together in order to make changes for a better life. I guess they do not realise how precious life is and how valuable each person is to their nearest and dearest, as well to our community.

    All of us in this community must ask ourselves: do we accept "the cheapest method of society cleansing" or are we ready for a more civilised method?

    What have we agreed on and written in our community development plans?

    We get the society we ask for.

     

  26. Anonymous says:

    National Service.

    Send them off to military training school in the US/UK – it's probably cheaper too.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Why dont they put the theraputic centre in Cayman Brac in the middle of the bluff land where there shoud be no chance of escape – Government has lots of land that can be used. Better still the Hurricane Hilton can be used for this to house these kids and then it can be used as a shelter if and when needs be. This will bring more professionals to the Brac etc.

  28. Just Sayin' says:

    Not only was the AEC the home of disruptive and troublesome students, it was also the final resting place of mant a naughty teacher who had upset the apple cart and was put out to pasture, with no experience, no training and having had all the will, desire and ambition sucked out of them by the system. Now ask yourself why it failed and who is ultimately responsible for that failure.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I think its the right call – at least these children will have a choice now to either associate or disassociate themselves with right individuals instead of being tossed away like complete outcasts!  Thats right dont "brand" them – instead teach them!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Two points:

     

    1. Many of the troubled kids were damaged in the womb by drug consuming mothers (alcohol, nicotine, ganja, cocaine etc). My heart bleeds for these kids because the damage was not self-inficted. However, given the damage, integrating them into the mainstream schooling will be extremely difficult if not impossible without hurting the "regular" kids; one problem kid in a class can severly slow the learning process for the entire class.

     

    2. Unemployment amongst blue collar Caymanians is largely the fault of the indentured slavery immigration system that allows employers to import extremely cheap third world labour and then allows the employers to abuse them for financial gain. Caymanians cannot compete in this sort of labour market.

  31. Anonymous says:

    My child was so traumatised by the thuggery in John Gray, I had to put her in a private school. It cost me an arm and a leg, but it probably saved her life.

    Seriously, these ministers need to spend some 'fly on the wall' time at these schools and then they'll see what is REALLY going on.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I taught in Government schools in Grand Cayman for fifteen years and found the Alternative Education Unit extremely helpful with students with serious discipline problems.  They were extremely careful in integrating these students back into the mainstream and used to come in to check that the students were progressing satisfactorily.   I remember one student in particular who had given up completely, and with the help of the AEU, that student was able to come back to the mainstream and managed to pass examinations that made that student employable when leaving school!  I think they have done a tremendous job for many years and that they should be appreciated for all their hard work and dedication, and not treated in such an unprofessional manner by people who do not understand at all what is happening in Grand Cayman schools!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Had they remained in the mainstream school system, they would have dragged more down the tube with them.  Not saying the program couldn't have been tweaked, but if the AEC failed, it's probably because their home environment was the cause, not because they were removed from the mainstream school system.  Rolston, just look at their family backgrounds nd tell me what you find.  When mother and father has no regard for law and order and teaches their children to respect no one, not even themselves and they teach them nothing but violence and dominating others through intimidation, threats and fear, what else do you expect?  With the statistics you quoted, sounds like the school system correctly identified those who were such serious problems that they were indeed a threat to the school population.  Now you are going to put them back into it?  This government creates one disaster after another.  God knows why we could not handle any other natural disasters.

  34. peter milburn says:

    Vocational school is sorely needed for those who cannot graduate.How many more times does the public need to say this.A dedicated vocational school is needed NOW.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Thank goodness my kids aren’t in the schools where the offenders are migrating to. The half-baked education that the “regular” kids got is now going to be a crash course in living (or surviving hopefully) the gang lifestyle, taught by the gangs themselves.

    Why not trade school? They don’t necessarily need English and math as much as they need an honest way to make a living. Teach them to be welders and stone masons or something productive. This ain’t rocket science!

  36. Anonymous says:

    That nation building money should have been towards fixing these kind of problems rather than giving it to churches.  Or Churches here is your chance, go out and help these troubled kids.  Youhave the funding to be able to help them!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Oh no! Now we are going to take the gang violence to the schools, so innocent kids can be killed. That's exactly what keeping these kids into school are going to do. Now instead of just having their neighbourhhood gangs they will be turning otherwise good kids bad as well. Only now are we going to see an out of control gang problem as if it's not bad enough already. Well Cayman people I believe we are going to have to lock our kids in and home school to save them now.

  38. Anonymous says:

    So put them with regular kids to influence them. Hmmmmm. So Rolston you want the gangs to grow because integrating these kids into the regular system will provide them with recruits.

    Most times gang kids are good kids that are easily influenced.  Most good parents try to keep their children away from the 'bad' kids so that they don't influence their good kids.   Putting the kids back into the regular public school system will cause more chaos than is currently going on in the schools.

  39. Michelle M. McTaggart says:

    Our son attended a Public School for year 2.  We had no choice but to move him to a private school.  His teacher was fantastic, the school and education program was good, and most of the staff I met were so friendly.   However, there were at least 3children in his class of 25(?) that I knew needed extra "assistance" or "care" due to some behavioural problems.  Not only is this unfair for the poor teacher, but also very unfair for the other children and their education.  Our son had his school papers ripped while working on them, they would drag pencils down his work as he worked at his desk, he was hit, constantly harassed and exposed to adult language and situations from these children.  The teacher was constantly having to repremand or try to settle these children.  She was absolutely frazzled by the end of the day, and after speaking with the Principal we found that she, too, was exhausted.  Not from dealing with these children, but with their parents!  They cussed her, threatened her, and worst of all…never listened to a single word she was saying on how to "help" their kids.

    I do believe that it is at least 95% a poor parenting issue.  However, I do not see that changing for a while – unfortunately.  I feel so sorry for these children.  They have no hope when they aren't even being treated well at home – how do you expect them to behave outside the home and treat others?  They are the true victims.

    I have no answers.  I just hope that when this is the "plan" (to intergrate these children into the mainstream), that Government is fully prepared to pay for teachers that are certified and qualified to help these kids to be in the classroom in addition to the regular teacher. And guidelines to be set for how much disruption is too much. 

  40. Anonymous says:

    Word on the marlroad is that a lot of the kids from the AEC have been moved to the Lighthouse School.

    Does the Minister really believe that putting the label "developmentally delayed" on these troubled kids and then placing them amongst our most vulnerable is a good idea?

  41. Believe it or not says:

    Believe it or not, but a part of the troubling of kids is in the home.  They are seeing the strugle their families are having to put food on the table and are very angry to know that the Government is not doing enough.

    Jobs are given away to foreigners, easy jobs like answering the phone, driving and doing delivery, Give me a break Mr Anglin, but you all need to have a meeting with the business community to give Caymanian youth a chance.

    Be careful they will soon decide to take back Cayman, then lets see what you all will say then when this happens.

    I am sure the ice cream delivery, the bread delivery, the drinks delivery, the beer delivery will be afraid to deliver.  Help the people get jobs.

  42. MER says:

    WOW! It took almost 20 years for them to figure this out? This is something I knew since I was in High School! The students go to the AEC, are forbidden to talkand given no form of educational curriculum, then when they are 16 they are released on to the streets with no secondary education and are expected to get a job and support themselves??? Our Government is a joke!!!

  43. Anonymous says:

    …….and it keeps getting better!! 

    • Anonymous says:

      So what you are saying is the children that are disruptive and don't want to learn are going to be put in classes with children that DO WANT TO LEARN. Again, making rules and laws and the teachers are not going to be able to enforce them.  Even today, from time to time, police and ambulances are at the scene of the government high school.  You don't hear about it in the paper because as usual everything is a secret but it is there.  There are children already in the classroom that are disruptive and there isn't a damn thing the teacher can do about it.  Call the parent??? LMAO.. remember the usual "Not my child, he is a good boy"!!!

  44. Anonymous says:

    Children who disrupt classes, are violent or intimidate with threats of violent should be removed from normal schools. otherwise they prevent other children from getting the education they need. If there are children who were removed from the system inappropriately then fine re-integrate them, but do not send trouble makers back to the schools. Our education system has enough problems without insisting that violent gang members are forced on good children.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not sure where I stand on this issue.  I have been a high school teacher, and know that troubled kids often need to be embraced by mainstream society in order to accept the limitations imposed on them by society.  They need to feel that they can belong and that others want them.  However, I wonder what message we are sending about how much we value education when we allow our classrooms to be disrupted by those who clearly do not want to learn.  Integration makes theoretical sense, but in my experience, it is bungled in practice and leads to difficulties for everyone in the system.  I would like to hear more about how Minister Anglin plans to provide for the needs of these young people within the normal school day.

    • Anonymous says:

      Many of these youth cause trouble with the sole intention of being removed/expelled from schools.  In expelling them, you are giving them what they want.  What you need is a tough, no-nonsense school with longer hours and a strict, almost army-like regime to send these children to, so the alternative is not so attractive to them. Perhaps then, they might knuckle down and get some real work done at regular school.

  45. Anonymous says:

    So it's the AEC and the school system in general that's the problem, Rolston, and not the parents of the youth "who are dead or in prison"? Nice one. Once these kids are reintegrated, the present mainstream public school behaviour standards, never that wonderful, if truth be told, will deteriorate very seriously. God help the teachers.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't think he removed any blame from the parents..He should be applauded for taking this bold step. He can't change the parents but he can help the children.

      Please stop being so negative and insulting and give the man a break for trying.

      • Anonymous says:

        10:48: I'll bet you dont have any kids in the public school classrooms these kids are going to be "reintegrated" into. Your comment is the normal lefty bleeding heart stuff of people not affected by a problem. And don't come back saying you have a bunch of kids in government schools because I simply will NOT believe you.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Wow!  three quarters!  That is horrific.  Good call to shut the place and find a better solution.  Clearly something has to be done to allow these kids to find a better path in life, though and I am glad they are putting an alternative in place.  Just goes to show that these troubled kids can be identified early.  I hope that the new system finds a way to engage, involve and work with the parents to teach them how better to guide and support their kids.  These stats should be enough to give them a good shake.

  47. EYE ON THE ISLAND says:

    This is a good thing and the Minister should not be criticized for this bold move and admission that a policy change is taking place. Thank you Minister.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good thing for the parents of bad kids.

      Bad for everyone else.  Who are they really helping here?  Besides themselves I mean?  At least they can see with their own eyes that they are a failure but…………..

    • Linda Hyleman says:

      Easy to say this as their kids do not attend the public schools.  It would not be their children that would be placed in harm's way.

    • Anonymous says:

      It's about time! This antiquated system had my year 2 child suspended for a week. If it wasn't for the lashing i gave him, he would have thoroughly enjoyed the time off from school.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow you're 7 year old was suspended?!?!? DIdn't even know that was possible! Sounds like you need to give him more lashings on a regular basis.

  48. Been there, done that. says:

    Awesome! I'm going to have to re-mortgage our home to do it but you can bet your ass my kids will be going to private school now, whatever it takes.

    Anglin would do well to remember why they were removed from the mainstream in the first place.

    There is nothing wrong with natural selection.

    • Anonymous says:

      ^
      This, more than anything, this.
      These criminals in training are not what the other kids need around them

    • Anonymous says:

      Cant you see the AEC has failed big time and government needs try something else.  At least Rolston is not just sweeping these troubled kids under the rug.  He is trying to help them, which will only benefit the whole community in the future.  That is one reason why you have so many criminals now, because people ignored them when signs were there.  If something doesnt work, you try something new…obviously. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Check your politicians and where the majority send or sent their children..majority went to PRIVATE SCHOOOLS or are going to PRIVATE SCHOOLS.  That says something doesn't it???

    • Anonymous says:

      Why? don't they have unruley kids in "private schools"? There is no AEC there either!