What’s important to the Ministry of Education?

| 20/04/2012

The Cayman Islands Further Education Centre has been endeavouring to make their prom happen. However, it seems that the Ministry of Education does not support two of our themes for dress down days, which were “Pajama Day” and “Gender Switch Day”, and neglected to give a valid reason as to why. This raises numerous questions within me, such as: “What is so wrong with these two themes?” and “Why is this so important when there are other situations that need more attention given to them?”

My fellow students and I were the ones who decided that a ‘Spirit Week’ would be a fun and safe way to  raise money. Students helped pick a theme for every day that would allow to us to dress up completely differently and step out of the norm for a week. We had a lot of success and students enjoyed themselves.

However, yesterday, April 19, certain teachers and parents did not like the idea of girls dressing as boys and boy dressing as girls. It is understandable if people didn’t like the theme and we accept that, but the ministry should have dealt with this in a mature manner rather than making a public statement saying that Gender Switch and Pajama days were now banned from all schools (public and private) because the ministry does not approve.

This resulted in our principal going around to classes checking if there were any males dressed as a girl. It is known fact that the Cayman Islands are very conservative and believe certain ways of living are not appropriate. Nothing is wrong with having an opinion but it does become a problem when you shove them down people’s throats and expect them to be happy because to you it makes sense. It did not even occur to the students that boys dressing like girls and vice versa made others think that we were supporting homosexuality. We were just having fun and the ministry basically stripped us of our innocence and made our school look bad. Because of those who are narrow minded, our exciting day turned sour.

What has really been bothering me is how fast this was dealt with. It didn’t even take a day to handle a situation that wasn’teven a problem! It’s clear to me that that the fact that our standard of education is dropping to accommodate those students who don’t find school to be necessary isn’t as important as a boy putting a dress on for the fun of it. Changing schools basically every year since 2007 with new ideas that didn’t work out should be the issues they are dealing with. What they should be looking into seems to be the least of their worries, which should trigger some serious questions within every citizen of this country.

A teacher suggested that the reason this was a problem is because CIFEC is right next door to the school for those who live in Bodden Town and up (which is in George Town) and maybe parents didn’t like it because it could influence the younger students to want to dress like us.

I have a statement to all parents who were offended: if your child liked the fact that girls were dressing as boys and vice versa, maybe you should consider that your child is gay.

It was very childish of the ministry to deal with this situation as they did. It would have been a lot better if they came to our school and explained to us as to why they didn’t want us to do it again instead of giving a public statement to make it seem like they’re on top of everything.

Lastly, I’d just like to say that although it may seem like they are doing something for our schools, they are not and we need you as parents to realise that that is what is important, not girls acting like thugs and boys acting like chicks just for the fun of it.

Also, when the bill of rights is introduced to the Cayman Islands, this act of banning gender switch day would be considered illegal. Cayman needs to get with the times (though I'm not implying that we should be followers and not leaders) and realise that the times are changing and it would be wise to go with the flow. 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Yet…the week of the young child, they…… the Ministry of Eucation, put on a pajama party for the little ones at Camana Bay.  double standards!!

    • Anonymous says:

      What?! Where else do you think was better to have the pajama party if not Camana Bay???


      I love Camana Bay – what a glorious place to pay two or three times the price for anything you could possibly desire. People drives miles, crossing other stores and strip malls in Cayman just to go to Camana Bay and buy a shirt or something that cost $90 – $150, when they could have stopped at one of the stores they crossed and paid $30 for a reasonable sub.


      I love Camana Bay, love it, love it, love it!

  2. Chris says:

    Parents and children be truthful.

    If the ministry of educationcame onto a radio talk show or issued a directive insisting or even suggesting to the children that in order to raise funds for their prom they should hold a gender switch day as a fundraiser, how many of you would be taken aback or outraged? My guess is most of you would have countless questions for the minister regarding what is his agenda and what is he promoting. 

    When ideas come from children we often consider them cute or creative however if the same exact idea originated from a mature adult most of us would ask "what crazy idea is this?"

  3. Emilee Rankine says:

    jasmine your right about the ministers,I think this is foolishness about banning gender switch and pjamma day, it was for a fundraiser at our school so it shoulded banned.They really need to focus on the bigger things like the  financal problems, the tourism industry, international conferences, and dealing with that problem the premier mackeeva. it donesn't matter if your gay to were men clothing are women clothing. Iknow some girls who dresses like a boy and there not gay.And i were men shoes  all the time sometimes men shorts and i'm not gay. if a girl kisses her mother or a boy kisses his father does that make them gay ? if it was so all of us would be gay.

    And yes i go to cifec if you have a problem with what i had to say well to bad for you or which school i go to.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your lack of grammar and careless typos show explicity which school you attend.


      Please learn the difference between:

      your and you're

      their, there and they’re

      to, too and two

      My goodness the use of ‘were’ for ‘wear’ that is like using ‘witch’ for ‘which’! 

      Learn to construct a paragraph. Refrain from the run-on sentences.  Use spell check.  Need I continue?! 

      I pity your future employer.


  4. Anonymous says:

    what the hell   \\(-_-)/   its a fundrasier thingy. leave it alone. no one will die. gessh '_'

  5. Awlymilykins says:

    This is just ridiculous! The kids are trying to do something to make going to school and getting educated a bit more fun, while raising needed funds, and if it is fun to go to school, more kids will go, more kids will get educated, more kids will be a positive influence for Cayman's youth 'gone wrong'. No one is forced to participate, I'm certain.

    One does not "become" gay because they dress like a girl, or vice versa, no more than a
    dog will become a cat if it is dressed as one!

    Who would 'choose' to be a victim of hatred, in a world where so many will never understand what it feels like to be trapped in the wrong body?? I will never know how horrible that must be, but I sure as hell have a heart and the compassion that allows me to live and let live! 

    On an Island, where 'laid-back' is the theme, people have forgotten how to RELAX, both body and mind! Put a smile on your faces and keep the dirt out of your minds!  Shake your heads, laugh, and say, oh boy, these kids are something else, but they are sure having a good time and there is alot WORST things they could be doing!

    Peace and love.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I'm not entirely sure what to think of your opinion piece.  I do agree that the Ministry of Education has a lot to do to answer to the young people on the island.  Why are there so many young people that cannot even read?  There are a lot of problems for the teachers, for the students….however, this little tyrant you are on is not really worth it.

    You statethat it is not fair to 'shove opinions down people's throats', but what if there are children that did not want to dress up as the opposite sex? Is it fair for them to have to dress up or choose to not participate and then feel left out.  I'm sure that the government saw the problem with your themes because of the potential abuse of them.  would the boys have to make sure that they weren't wearing short skirts or too high heels?  I can completely understand that the government would not want gender switch or pajama day because of the possible dress code violations.  Why don't you just choose something less controversial something that can be creative for everyone.

    Perhaps you should reconsider the way you approach things.  Not to say that the government is right or wrong, but sometimes you just have to respect authority and at the end of the day i'm pretty sure that the mottos of the public schools are all still christian.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am soooooo thankful someone posted something with sense regarding this article.  While I admire the author's boldness to write in, I totally disagree with her views.  As a former youth worker, one of the most serious issues I have found with young people is their lack of respect for those in authority (and their parents lack of respect!). 

      I agree with the Ministry's stance and I would have a serious problem if they didn't set parameters for such activities, however even if I didn't agree, the decision to cease these dress down themes is not detrimental to education, therefore I say let's keep things in context and look at the big picture….children need to remember their place and when persons in authority have made a decision, they should be taught to respect it. Ms. Jackson, please remember that dress down day in itself is a privilege which the school does not HAVE to permit, so respect the rules so that it doesn't have to be discontinued altogether.

      To parents I say please support the ministry and school staff decisions by helping them enforce school rules…you are doing a disservice to your children if you don't teach them respect and they will pay in the real world. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    If a few of our male preachers and politicians put on a dress every now and then would probably be far less angry and uptight.

  8. Dwindling Hope says:

    very well said……..

    It is indeed unfortunate and disheartening to observe the dramatics surrounding an innocent and entrepeneurial venture of our young people, whilst at the same time watching as the standards of our schools and academics waste away for want of leadership, consistency and governance. This young person seems to understand the importance of having a balanced and solid education….its only too bad that our leaders are not equally as aware of how to provide the same.  But I suppose that its much easier create an issue out of the little nothings than with the real issues facing our kids today. It does leave one to question —what are the priorities of the education ministry?!  I only pray that the ministry itself is aware of the answer because its not clear to the rest of us.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Jasmine on speaking up for yourself and fellow students.  Others may take issue with some of your statments, and you should have a little more care when you write again, but please don't stop writting. 

  10. CIFEC Student says:

    Jasmine failed to mention that the majority of students didn't take part in the gender switch day! I for one didn't because I didn't support it. I still gave my contribution to raising funds for Prom though.

    So Jasmine doesn't speak for all of us and I think her comment to parents about their child might be gay because they liked girls dressing as boys and vice versa is dumb. The statement if silly.


    There are many ways to raise funds for Prom. Why not choose themes like 'Stand Against Guns & Violence Day' and we students could wear t-shirts we designed ourselves or 'Getting an Education is Our Only Option' as another choice that we could have designed t-shirts for?

    But you see sometimes it's feels better to stand up for what people call controversial stuff even if don't really support it just to be heard or seen.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me post my feelings on this.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Submitted by Conservative (proud to be) (not verified) on Fri, 04/20/2012 – 15:50.

    • patricia says:

      Jasmine, children are not adults and shouldn't be regard like adults. It is for people like you, teachers and educators, to teach them the right way as they develop. I honestly don't believe there is such thing as a "gay child"

      • Anonymous says:

        When you should regard a chid as a adult?  18years 21 years.  By law truley becomming a adult in the UK is 21.

        However children today are for the most part more mature than we ever were growing up.  It now ones fault bar our own.  We expose them by way of news, television & radio to more than we ever were.

        I have a very very good friend who is gay.  He knew he was gay at a young age (12-13 years old when the old hormones start kicking in.  In his words "I knew I was gay as girls didn't excite me, boys did".  Of course he wasn't a gay child….. he was confused.  His father wouldn't except it when he came out and my friend basically because of this cut his family off for years (He came out at 16).  Now my friend has a partner and has settled down.  His father has died of cancer but did write to his son before he died.  He stated that his biggest ever regret in life was not accepting his son for who he was.

         Seeing as you cannot control another persons thoughts and feelings towards which sex they desire all you will do is hinder the childs progress if you don't encourage them to be the best they can be.  If not you will bear the consequences.

        I'm off to go and find a outfit for the tarts & vicars party I'm attending in a couple of weeks.


        A Male Lesbian. ;-P



  12. Anonymous says:


    i would love to make it clear that i Jasmine Jackson is known by many people for taking up and supporting the lifestyle of homosexuals. 

    i have sooooooo many gay friends  and i love them to bits. i have gotten in very heated arguments taking up for them. they are no different from you or me its just that they dont like when a straight person would.

    and i just want to clarify to those that when i said 'you should consider your child is gay' that it is NOT an insult. i have realised that alot of people who have read this before hand thought i was calling children gay but let me be clear that that was never my intention. i wanted to make a statement to the parents that they should STOP blaming others and take note of their childs behaviour if you get what i mean.

    and to clarify the the statement "It did not even occur to the students that girls dressing as boys and vice versa made others think that we were supporting homosexuality" it basically meant that the thought of the theme being homosexual didnt come to our minds and all that occurred to us being gay isnt wrong and its normal.

     i hope that i have not stepped on anyones toes and realise that this piece was not based around what went on that day but the fact that bigger problems are not being handled. i cannot change what the ministry does but adults can. unfortunately too many adults in this country are too comfortable with taking the back seat and letting whatever happens happen. 

    so yea..hope that help clarify what i meant. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Thankyou Jasmine for clearing that up. I am encouraged by your quick response and clarification of what you were trying to express in your original posting. I wish to encourage you to keep on posting. CNS definitely needs the contribution of fresh ideas from young people.

      If you just work on your writing style a little more, you will not need to re-submit to explain your original intentions. The problem was because your original post was a bit ambiguous, and CNS readers are so used to the ranting of homophobic and narrow-minded people that some of us made assumptions that were just the opposite of what you were trying to say.

      Here are some suggestions:

      1) Make a list of points you wish to make

      2) Write a draft of including your points

      3) Re-write that draft in it's final form

      4) Spell-check and grammar-check

      5) Submit to CNS

      Once you get your writing style down, I can see you will make positve contributions to this forum. Even though you're young, otherposters may not consider that and use your presentation in a negative way. That is why it is imperative that you take time when you present your thoughts in public.

      I love your enthusiasm and open-mindedness, and look forward to hearing from you and your mates again soon!


  13. Blouse n' Skirt says:

    Well said Jasmine. I know of many men living here that are happiest when dressed as a woman. What’s wrong with that? Nothing that’s what. A happy man is not an angry man!

    But that’s not what I’m seeing from the elected officials. Perhaps they should mix it up a little, Mac would make a lovely Annie Huldah Bodden. 🙂

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well said, there is hope for for Cayman yet. Thank you.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I agree with most of what you had to say in your commentary and I applaud your creativity in your efforts to raise funds for your prom.  One thing that concerns me is that your references to homosexuality seemed to have a negative undertone.  It is a FACT that most cross-dressers ARE homosexuals or transgendered.  If you do not condone or accept that homosexuality and transgender is alive and well and will not stand in defense of those who are, then you should not partake in any part or parcel of it in your fundraising fun day at school as that is mockery.  If you do accept that homosexuality is here to stay and is not going away simply because of a few ignorant Bible thumpers, then you should stand in support of your choice to cross dress at school for the right reasons, that there are homosexuals in our midst and you accept them as your fellow man regardless of the stereotypical ignorance that prevails in our government and therefore in our society.  Acceptance of others who are different is key in healthy society building.  Hate brings division and destruction.  I bet you have no clue how many teachers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, EMT's parents, cashiers, cooks, waitresses or waiters, and others you interact with in your daily life may be a homosexual.  What if those who you depend on to save your life some day are homosexuals would it matter then?????  If you cannot promote something in a positive light, do not promote it in a negative one.  I hope a cross-dressing day will be promoted in each school in support of those who are struggling with who they are and to raise awareness and funds for proms.  I cannot  think of a better way to promote inclusion and acceptanceof diversity amongst our youth which can only translate healthily into adulthood.

  16. Anonymous says:

    As a young Caymanian I spend far too much time disappointed and embarrased by what other young Caymanians do and say. Jasmine Jackson, today I have never been prouder to call myself a young Caymanian. It's men and women like you who, thank GOD, are the future of this country.

  17. Tootsie Roll says:

    While I support much of the sentiment of this article, at the end it gives way to a fallacy, namely that cross dressing and homosexuality are closelylinked. They are not as linked as many would think. Many practising cross dressers as heterosexuals. Some would say that the straight proportion of that community are the majority.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m straight. Not the slightest bit gay (though there would be nothing wrong if I were of course). That said, I just love wearing silk xxxxxxx, because they just make me feel… well… like a woman through and through. Even though I’m not. And the people listening to me while I speak to them on Sundays, they have no idea what I’m wearing under the robe. Good thing about the pulpit too, because that would be seriously embarrassing. Silk does that you know.

  18. Anonymous says:

    The Ministry of Education should concentrate more on learning how manage construction projects. This is serious stuff and clearly indicates that there are seriously incompetant people in high places who are grossly over paid for what the do and not do.


    This cross dressing issue is clearly an non-issue. Let the kids have fun.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations on your articulate viewpoint. I wish to offer my own anecdote and cautions on your endeavours:

    As a woman having broken the "glass ceiling", I work in a predominantly male profession. My first job was in a prestigious institution, and the "highlight" of my first  Christmas party were skits performed by the management. These skits involved men dressing and behaving as women in a mocking way. And it didn't stop there: we had white guys performing in "blackface". Then we had men dressed as men, only mincing around in a flamboyant and stereotypical homosexual manner. Thus you can see howa seemingly benign entertainment was a demonstration by what you would call "haters".

    As long as you are not parodying or ridiculing appearances, why not have a gender-switch day?

    When you say "It did not even occur to the students that girls dressing as boys and vice versa made others think that we were supporting homosexuality", what do you mean? Do you mean there's nothing wrong with supporting gay friends?    

    When you state " If your child liked the fact that girls were dressing as boys and vice versa, maybe you should consider that your child is gay", I hope you were not trying to be insulting. It would be astonishing in this day and age that someone as young as you could be as bigoted as some of the older Caymanians. How do you treat classmates perceived as gay or trans-gendered? How about classmates from different cultures and races? I am hoping I am wrong, and that you respect and even celebrate cultural, racial, and gender diversity in your friends.

    FYI. When the Bill of Rights is introduced, it will have the opposite effect you are predicting. If trans-identified  students find  "gender-switch" day offensive, it will likely be banned.

  20. Anon says:

    Why are you seeking the ministry's blessing?

    The Ministry doesnt have to approve of everything children try to organise.

    If the ministry sees these events as non-productive and/or provocative in some way then why not simply have your own private event after school hours at a private venue?

    Something tells me that the ministry wouldnt sanction a nude event, an adolph hitler event, or dress like a gangsta event (although it seems like that everyday at some schools).



    • Anonymous says:

      Transgender and gay are not the same thing. Discriminate correctly if you must.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Pyjama Days must be banned from henceforth. When the Premier put on his Chairman Mao suit someone said that he looked like he was in his pyjamas. We cannot have people making fun of the Chinese when they come here properly dressed to takeover the country… sorry, I meant to say dock.

  22. Anonymous says:

    "Go(ing) with the flow" is never a good guide for making sound decisions. I think you need a moral compass.

  23. Conservative (proud to be) says:
    Jasmine, you sound very hurt by the ministry's actions. I particularly won't like the idea of my son wearing a dress. But you saying and I quote, "I have a statement to all parents who were offended: if your child liked the fact that girls were dressing as boys and vice versa, maybe you should consider that your child is gay." To me, with all due respect, this is evidence that you are educated wrongly in thinking that "gays" should be categorize with males and females. I don't think so, and I don't blame you for thinking so, because you were educated to think that way too.