Beyond the classroom

| 08/05/2014

Last week, MinisterTara Rivers was featured on Cayman 27’s The Panel in which she indicated the failure of schools to adequately deal with students’ behavioural issues was a result of poor communication, lack of specialist resources, and accountability. Unsurprisingly, members of the public lashed out at her for her perceived passing of blame upon the education system, yet many failed to find fault in their own blame.

Some even ventured as far to claim it was the fault of a faulty immigration policy that they claimed had imported a culture of delinquency. Everyone, it seems, is willing to pass blame on the perceived cultural changes Cayman has undergone, yet we are reluctant to look closer to home.

For all our pride in our seafaring traditions, we fail to acknowledge that for generations, there has often been a lack of a constant father figure within the home. Prior to the success of the tourism and financial industries of the seventies, most Caymanian men had little choice but to venture to sea to make a living for their families. Whilst admirable, it would be naïve to ignore the number of children born overseas and out of wedlock whilst these men were away.

Even more ironically, for a country with a rather long history and high rate of miscegenation the slander of immigrant ethnic groups is unusually tolerated. However inappropriate to discuss, given our stringent Christian heritage, few can argue that divorced and multiethnic families are hardly a new phenomenon. Despite this fact, many Caymanian adults point to the lack of a father figure and these foreign elements as a significant contribution to the behaviour problems of some modern Caymanian youth.

Statistically, there is a correlation between delinquency, trauma and the lack of a strong family unit . However, further examination of the numbers show that there is an even higher correlation between such behaviour, physical and mental health and socio-economic status. Children who are reared in long-term destitution are far more likely to engage in delinquency.

Thus, it can be ascertained, that ‘bad behaviour’ is not a result of only the lack of traditional two parent home, but can also result from the limited opportunities available to them due to their socio-economic status. Despite this,  a combination of personal resilience and the availability of positive alternatives to their current situation have been proven to prevent anti-social behavior and a destructive lifestyle.

What seems to be missing, is the acknowledgement of how we often treat children and the proven negative consequences it has on their development. Recently, a Compass poll found that the vast majority of respondents believed corporal punishment and exclusion were appropriate penalties for misbehavior. Many reason that they were treated as such when they were children, without having any serious repercussions on their development. Never mind the fact that they are the generation that has produced the current ‘troublemakers’ of society, they fail to see that such practices often have counterproductive results.

The use of corporal punishment, quite fittingly to the topic of education, often results in damage to a child’s brain development and a lower IQ. Rather than instilling moral behaviour, children who are physically reprimanded have been found to be more creative in their deception. It can also, more worryingly, make a child prone to aggression. Interestingly, despite the ease in which the proponents of the broken home argument turn to statistics to prove their point, they are far less likely to accept the numbers pointing to their own parenting habits. Rather, they brush it off by saying there is a differentiation between abuse and discipline even though both produce strikingly similar results.

Rivers also touched upon the poor care available for children with mental health issues and disabilities- a problem which Cayman has long grappled with, albeit unwillingly. With the introduction of the draft National Disability Policy, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel, yet it still doesn’t begin to address the attitude towards psychological and physical disabilities. Despite being the minority, Caymanians are more than 5 times more likely than non-Caymanians to suffer from a disability. Unsurprisingly, with limited care and treatment, this places a sizeable segment of the population at a great disadvantage and whilst the policy is welcome step, we will be playing catch up for a very long time until attitudes change.

Likewise, public perception of juvenile drug use and its effect of behavior and scholastic achievement is completely out of sync with reality. According to the National Drug Council statistics, more than half of all students surveyed reported no drug use at all. More interestingly, despite the vehement opposition towards cannabis use and its odd juxtaposition to delinquency, use is only 12.8%. Instead, it is alcohol, which is most popularly used (54%), followed by tobacco use (14.4%).

More notably, albeit a marginal difference, females were more likely to report illicit drug use than their male counterparts despite males being more frequently penalized. This in itself could be for a number of reasons due to the fact that, although drug use can be associated with delinquency, such behavior is often the cause of a number of social, cultural and economic factors.

What the above shows is that there is a huge disconnect between what we’re willing to acknowledge is true as opposed to what we believe to be true. The poet Khalil Gibran once said: “Of life’s two chief prizes, beauty and truth, I found the first in a loving heart and the second in a labourer’s hand”.

As a young Caymanian who has struggled with my mental health and substance abuse, I can testify to the validity of this statement. I grew to not fear physical, verbal and psychological attacks from the outside. Instead, I internalized them which, as shown above, can be quite harmful. Whilst my stubbornness has kept me resilient, it was my fortune to have met a number of special people along the way.

Teachers who went aboveand beyond what people typically expect of them and instead were the parents and friends many of their students didn’t have. Rather than instructing those like myself what they thought to be right, they taught us how to seek out the lives we desired. With patience and care, they taught us how to question the world around us and question ourselves. Such lessons cannot be purchased, nor are they simply born into. I was fortunate to meet such persons – many children never do.

To me, that is the greatest fault in the system. If we are to address the problem of poor academic performance, anti-social behavior and poor mental health, we must sincerely endeavour to seek out the true underlying problems behind the matter. Nor can we continue to expect positive change from our youth when we are keen to label those who make mistakes as undesirables. As opposed to imparting blame, as we are oft prone to do, we would be best to understand that things are not as black and white as they may seem. It may even be harder to accept that for all our efforts, not every child will turn out the way we intend them to.

As we may see from the above, there are a number of factors that may impact the behavior and well-being of a child. Often times, the greatest trauma is hardest to treat, as it requires not only a mere change in policy and funding, but a high level of diligence and care. Each child is unique in their character and circumstance and thus must be nurtured in a holistic sense that caters to their individual needs. Thus, it is not just the system that must change, but rather our entire manner of child rearing.

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Category: Viewpoint

Comments (41)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    People's comments on here towards Tara and any thing she does are so telling of our problems…why are people so mean towards her.? Do any of you realise that your words reflect on you not on her? Comments should be useful not hurtful. Why don't you Haters have solutions for our Island's problem instead of obvious idiocy? I don't know her personally, but people's reactions are above and beyond being necessary, they just seem like they are from people who need to criticie and pull her down, with no other good reason behind it.

    Please, set a good example for your children and for others by your example. There is no wonder our Education System is as poor as it is. It only REFLECTIVE of our major issues. Wake up Caymanians, make progress. Stop bickering and vomiting on others.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Concerning May 16, 01:28….  I'm usually unpleasant both online and in "real" life.   By the way, is there "fake" life as well?  At any rate, thank you for expressing your concern.  I will take it up with my immediate supervisor and his/her should that be necessary.  There will most likely be no forthcoming apology and/or any action taken given that we live in the Cayman Islands (where such things are unheard of) – however, please beadvised that your complaint has been duly noted.  We thank you for having wasted both your time and mine, and wish you another wonderful day in Paradise.  Kindest regards.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Responding to Friday 09/05 at 9:46…  Oh Gosh, let me first apologize for not being the pro that you are – I could never have written as excellent an article as you have…  You seem to have pulled quotes and references from all sorts of places to fit your little thesis and make you sound all that smart.  Personally, my arse just isn't that big for me to pull things out of.  But please allow me to reply to your splendid posting in my amateurish way by just saying that socio-economic conditions not a child raise; parents do that…  I'm not sure if you understand that point given that your thinking is so superior to mine.  And please allow me to add that parents that come from lower socio-economic backgrounds generally tend to be poorer parents as a result of:  1.  being kids themselves  2.  being young and immature  3. lacking parenting skills  4.  often being on dependent on drugs and alcohol  5.  lacking the will, desire, and knowledge to make something of themselves, having had little guidance themselves in life 6. being disinterested in doing the hard work required to raise their children  Oh Gosh, I mean I could go on and on with reasons that parents from a lower socio-economic background are mor likely to make poorer parents, but I'll stop there.  And allow me to also add that there are many parents from poor socio-economic levels who make excellent parents, just as there are many parents from high socio-economic levels who make terrible parents.  That in part explains why some kids from lower levels do really well in life and some from upper levels do very poorly.  As toother reason why some children from lower economic backgrounds who despite not having good parenting still do well in life is because they find mentors (teachers, counsellors, other relatives or friends) to use as role models and guide them as they grow up…  In essence, it's your parents and role models who generally dictate your success in life.  Affluent children generally tend to have better parenting, better role models, and therefore better opportunities to succeed than those from poorer socio economic backgrounds.  In conclusion it was my parents who taught me the value of education, right from wrong, etc. and instilled a desire in me to succeed.  They were the ones to spend the time to guide me throughout my life, especially in my younger formative years, to teach me right from wrong, etc.  When was the last time your socio-economic background ever talked to you and offered you advice? 

    • Anonymous says:

      In your urge to be rude, you missed the point.  Probably because it does not fit with your developmental psychology degree from the University of Life. While there is a correlation between the socio-economic background of a child's parents and the socio-economic background of the child's friends, your point was that the socio-economic background of the parents was the most important factor in a child's development.  But while it is important, the evidence is that it is not the most important factor.  The most important factor, from data, is the socio-economic background of a child's friends.  So you can have all the wonderful teachers and adults around and they make a difference (less than one wouldlike, but still a difference) but the best thing a parent can do is ensure that their children are more likely to bond with and be friends with the rich children.  It sounds callous.  But the evidence is overwhelming that it is the best strategy to adopt as a parent.

      And by the way, I was not the original writer of the View Point.  But go ahead jump to assumptions, I head the University of Life marked those down less than real places of study.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually a University of Life degree is generally a better degree than any degree that a school can provide.  Nice try at an insult.  Furthermore, I didn't miss any point, thank you very much for pointing that out nonetheless.  Just because one or two studies may point something out doesn't make it true.  You probably shouldn't believe everything that you read on the internet.  Aliens are not real and Elvis isn't coming back.  For over 40+ years study after study pointed out that fat in food is terrible for you (hence all the fat free foods on the market) and encouraged people to eat foods high in carbs.  Lately, the pendulum has swung the other way and new studies have determined that in fact it's not fats, but carbs and sugar that are far more harmful.  Over twenty years ago some brilliant twit produced studies to show that whole language was superior to phonics only to produce a generation of illiterates.  The conclusion you ought to draw out of this is that you shouldn't put too much stock into studies – they are somewhat biased.  You don't believe this, look at the recently discredited Dr. Wakefield who has done incredible harm by falsifying data to try and prove a link between autism and vaccines.  But I digress…  Talk to any teacher out there and they'll tell you that parents who are involved in raising their children have successful children.  They are the same parents who ensure that their kids hang out with other well-behaved, productive and respectable kids – not with hoodlums.  Get the connection yet?

        • Anonymous says:

          And some posts do not need a response because they are just noise. 

        • Anonymous says:

          I bet you pride yourself on your "nonsense straight talking" and let everyone know that. 

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean to say that if you're poor the only way to become successful is to surround yourself by rich children?  It not only sounds callous but also stupid.  Plenty of doctors, scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and other professionals rose from poor beginnings surrounded by friends and classmates who also were very poor.  The former Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc countries, China et al produced millions of highly educated individuals who came from beginnings that the western world would consider extremely poor.  You may wish to think before spouting off nonesense. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Who said "only", ie the "only way".  Your argument started on a false predicate that it was the "only" way.  And that was the best bit of it.  Encouraging your children to mix with rich kids is, from the evidence, an excellent parenting strategy.  Of course professionals do come from poor backgrounds, but the vast vast majority do not.  The question we are arguing about is which element of their backgrounds matters.  The natural perception is that is the family, but my point has been that peers are much more important than people think, and the evidence shows that.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey genius, who gave you a degree in ignorance?  If parents aren't all that important why not celebrate friends' day instead of mother's and father's day?  And who do you think chooses your friends from a very young age?  Do you really think that any conscientious parent would let you hang out with those who have a poor influence on you?  Get a grip. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Who said "they weren't all that important"?  The point that was being made was that there was a higher correlation between socio-economic status of friends and positive life quality indicators, not that there was no correlation between one's parents socio-economic status and life outcomes, of course there is.  The point is the friends produce a higher correlation than the parents.

      • Anonymous says:

        Rubbish!  Most people when asked who they have to thank for who/what  they've become will thank their parents, teachers, and/or other influential adults in their lives – few, if any will thank their friends. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, most people think that these are the main influences, and they are influences, important ones, and for some people they are the most important ones, but for most people they underestimate the influence of their peers because it is indirect to the learning process.  Sometimes in life what we would like to true because it fits our natural rational linear logical modelling is not as accurate as we would think.

      • Anonymous says:

        Which is why my children sail and play rugby.

    • SEVENSHORE CAYMAN says:

      I think you both are arguing very similar points. I was not claiming that socio-economic status is the main influence on the development of a child, but a critical part. Hence my point that given positive alternatives and influences, that a child can overcome their socio-economic status/ other difficulties. My hypothesis was that thereis no one thing that we can point to that influence's a child's behaviour and development, but there are NUMEROUS factors. This can be your family influences, your friends, your financial situation, your health, mentors, and etc. If we could put our finger on what makes the 'perfect' child, it would make life alot easier, but people are all subject to exception. All we can remark on are patterns. To 17:06, the sources I used simply pointed patterns that have an observed effect on a child.They were not 'pulled out my ass', and actually reflect much of what you're trying to say. It appears in your case your family was exceptionally supportive, but I'm sure you are aware that that is not the case for everyone based on your own observations of others' situations (they speak to me as much as they do to you).

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Look, I thought your piece was well written overall.  And I agree with the fact that many factors influence a child's future.  My argument is simply that parents play the biggest role in a child's development (both negative and positive) and are the biggest influence among all factors that you discussed.  The sources that you quoted are valid, but my argument to this is that for every source you quote I can quote 2 others that may argue the opposite.  I imagine that if you were to look around some more you could also find a few more to support yours…  The pulling out of the arse bit was juvenile – I was merely trying to make fun of the other person, not necessarily you.  At any rate, congratulations on a well-written piece.  I just won't concede my argument with the other person in as far as parents are concerned – and again, my point re. that is that your success and/or lack of it is directly tied to the role that your/our parent(s) played in your/our life/lives.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well there is at least one Harvard experimental psychology professor that referred to the theory as "a turning point in the history of psychology".  But heck he is only an experimental psychology professor at Harvard, what does he know compared to your with your summa cum laude from the University of Life and your Masters Degree in What Do Scientists Know Anyway?

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you this unpleasant in real life or are you just acting out online?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was interested in your reference to corporal punishment and abuse. Unfortunately your linked reference did not seem to speak to that issue. A linked US Children's Bureau factsheet did, however, say "Physical discipline, such as spanking or paddling, is not considered abuse as long as it is reasonable and causes no bodily injury to the child." I believe this highlights the need to carefully parse out what is 'effective punishment' and what crosses the line. I use 'effective' deliberately. In relation to your other reference that corporal punishment lowers IQs. That article (which is very interesting) is not actually about IQs but rather shows that corporal punishment is effective, for a certain result. Like anything it doesn't work for everything. (It didn't work for the particular outcomes the researchers were testing for. Which is useful to know.) Regarding corporal punishment the discussion needs to be 'what is apporpirate', where appropriate means 'not abuse' and 'for what result'. The problem comes when people try to apply corporal punishment in ways it doesn't work and when it doesn't just keep applying it harder. Like putting a square peg in a round hole and then getting a hammer to try and make it fit.

    However, with the above caveates, I agree with you. Its a multi-faceted issue. We need to find solutions appropriate for each facet. One solution (Schools! Spanking! Parents! Specialists! Whatever!) will not fit all. Or even any one.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hitting children is abuse.  Period.  Only the lazy, the stupid or the abused hit their children.  It is poor parenting to use physical punishment.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In response to 08/05 at 22:57, I see why you would think, as an amateur, why the parents might be the most important factor.  In fact you would be wrong.  The single most important factor on a child's future is the socio-economic status of their closest friends at school.  The factor consistently shows a very high correlation with almost all the quality of life indicators, right across the board.  If you assessed the data you would be shocked.

    This is a reason private education is so effective.  It is not necessarily the quality of teaching, the quality of supplies, the size of classes.  It is primarily down to the fact that the kids in private school have the kids from the lower socio-economic grouping filtered out of the social circle.

    I know this may not sound fair.  But cold hard evidence time and time again shows us that the real world works in unfair ways.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The fault lies squarely on the shoulders of the current and previous administrations of the Education Department.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really? "The fault lies squarely on the shoulders of the current and previous administrations of the Education Department." So what are we working against here in Cayman? There is never ONE solution to any major problem whichaffects the matrix of a society. It is part of our problem and they are not wanting to hear or to be proactive, I know this personally. Been through the system with two children. We need people in there who will listen and take keen interest in our issues. Not ignoring them. Tara is currently in the system where she can assist, and what support are our people giving her? Criticism seems to be our major gift to anyone we don't like for whatever asanine reason. Our people need to wake up and stop vomiting and start giving support if we cannot find the solution. Comments on here are so telling of most people's arrested development, no wonder we are having such a critical situation with the Education system. We are our own worst enemy!!

       

       

       

  7. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately one only has to read the comments on the current Forum Topic "Spanking Your Children" to see how many people see hitting and abusing their children as a vaild and positive thing.  Only the lazy, the stupid or the abused hit their children.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Sorry but I don't buy your socio-economic argument.  The largest determining factor in a child's success is his/her parents.  Parental involvement in their children's upbringing and education trumps all.  If parents value education and instill the same attitude into their children the children will most likely succeed, no matter what their socio-economic background may be.  If parents are good role models to their children and teach their children the value of hard work, the children will most likely succeed.  Millions of children born into abject poverty succeed despite the many odds against them – just as many children born into wealthy families fail…  The determining factor in both cases are the parents, or the parent.  Unfortunately there is no cure for Cayman's ills.  Far too many children are born to girls who themselves are only children.  Many of these girls, not all, lack the maturity, responsibility, and knowledge how to properly raise a child.  The "father" is, in most cases, gone by the time the child is born, far too busy impregnating three, four, five, ten other thug-worshipping teenagers to give a hoot about his latest offspring.  By the time many of these children reach school, they are so physically, emotionally, and intellectually stunted that an entire army of psychologists would have little effect.  And then there are those whose parents could not care less that their children are being raised by the street and the gangster who rule the neighbourhood – and there are plenty of those as well…  So until you teach people that a child is an every-day, life-long committment, not a dog who needs to be petted and fed once in a while…  Here is my prediction:  20 years from now we'll be having the same conversation – short of sterilizing 1/4 of the population no matter how many millions you will throw at the problem, nothing will work.

    • Anonymous says:

      I do believe that parents have a HUGE role in the outcome of determining success, but I believe if parents are missing in that role( for whatever reason) children still have a chance if they have a good mentor( whether it be teachers, big brother/sister or a mentoring program or even just someone from the community).

      I mentored 3 teenagerswho had "no chance in life" (that's what I was told when I was asked to mentor them when they were seniors- grade 12 and failing, in trouble with the law, and the female pregnant). I worked hard with all 3, they all graduated high school and continued on to college. One boy is working in electricity making $65,000, married and just bought his own home. The female just became a lawyer. She is also married. The child she had in high school is a freshmen  finishing her first year in college. The third boy that I mentored is working for the postal service. They all stayed out of trouble and to me, are wonderful assets to the community! Yes, parental support would be helpful, but, just because one does not have  that support, do not write them off, as they can still become very successful with a little guidance from someone who cares!

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Wonderful…Guess what – by guiding those children you took over the role of their parents…  In essence, you prove my point.  Lousy parenting leads them to having no chance – you step in, provide them with positive parenting and they succeed.  Congratulations for a job well done.

    • Anon says:

      One thing the writer missed is that too few people here know how to read/ listen before opening their mouths.

      Clearly you missed the whole point of the article and the fact that they referenced studies proving exactly your point about children being born into unhealthy environments. The writer touched upon a number of contributing factors not limited to a child's socio-economic status.

      They also mentioned that it is a combination of will and healthy alternatives outside of the home/ schools that can help benefit a child without 'throwing millions' at it.

      Personally, I pity kids here. They can't help it that they're surrounded, for the most part, by a bunch of people who have their heads so far up their asses.

      • Anonymous says:

        Clearly you yourself are a few credits short of Reading 101 – all I stated is that I did not buy the writer's socio-economic argument, no more, no less.  Clearly there are other factors that the writer touched upon – andclearly, I had no problems with those factors.  Socio-economic argument was a problem, others were not – comprende now, or should I state it a bit slower?

    • Anonymous says:

      So you're willing to accept that there are those that buck the rule (which was mentioned in the piece), but insist there is 'no cure for Cayman's ills'? Also, I love all the gang imagery you put in there to show what's bad. Even though you admitted that sometimes kids from wealthy backgrounds fail. I was born into a well to do family, brilliant and mature parents and even then they weren't perfect. I also know that a bunch of us who were raised in seemingly 'perfect', not-thuggish backgrounds still had stuff to go through. No one knows how to properly raise a child! If you came out the womb with that knowledge, then please share. You also voided your own argument. There are a bunch of kids whoare raised by young mothers in bad surroundings that turn out alright. Just because you're raised one way, doesn't mean you'll turn out in a special way but it certainly influences it. You're spouting the same nonsense that Sevenshore pointed out doesn't explain ALL of the problems we have.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lol don’t buy it all you want you’d be blind to not see a correlation. By the way, those thuggy dads and underage moms typically are a result of poor socio-economic livelihood.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lol yourself, those thuggy dads and underage moms typically are a result of poor parenting; parents who most likely fall in the poor socio-economic side of society… It's parents who raise or fail to raise their children, not social-economic conditions…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Excellent article!

    In the schools, I believe that any student with an attendance or behavior issue needs to go on an immediate tracking system. (Not sure if GC schools have this, but would be good to implement it). These students would immediately be tracked each day for : tardiness, attendance, effort, attitude, homework, classwork and have it signed(initialled) by each teacher. If they do not come to school- a phone call is placed immediately home. Tardy= detention, 3 tardies= Saturday detention, miss a Saturday detention= parent has to come in. Same with behavior. When parents have to start showing up for student behavior, behavior improves. These students also need to have a mentor….teacher/student or student/student depending on grade. As these students being tracked daily must pass in their sheets (to whomever is tracking them- guidance, at risk counselor etc), they are also having a quick one on one check in/contact.

    As for Tougher students/"gang members"- there needs to be night programs for them starting after dinner to keep them "off the streets"- basketball, football- and once the program gets going attach homework sessions, resume building, computer skills, etc. to the program.

    Award program at school- I am sure they probably already have an award program for the honor roll students, but a suggestion would be to give out movie tickets or KFC (just to name a place) coupons for students who make it one month without being absent etc. Pizza parties for all students who have perfect attendance for a term.

    Just some ideas and my 2 cents.

     

     

  10. Anonymous says:

    One thing you fail to note is the negative effect that the bad apples have on other students' educations. If you don't get a grip on discipline, the whole classroom suffers. If you are going to wait until the "socio-economic status" issue is fixed, it will be far too late.

    • Kiddo says:

      But they said: "‘bad behaviour’ is not a result of only the lack of traditional two parent home, but can also result from the limited opportunities available to them due to their socio-economic status. Despite this,  a combination of personal resilience and the availability of positive alternatives to their current situation have been proven to prevent anti-social behavior and a destructive lifestyle.

      Meaning even if you come from a bad background, if you've got your head on right and have good people/opportunites around you, then you can still prosper. 

      So even if you have 'bad apples' in your class, you're not going to let that get to you if there are better options around you. I had some pretty rough characters in my class and most of us knew how to deal with them. We didn't let them limit our progress. If that's stopping your kids from doing their best, maybe you need to be asking some other questions.

      • Anonymous says:

        1. Disruptive classrooms can make it difficult to learn.  

        2. Friends can and will influence your children.  Environment and not neccessarily home environment makes a diffrence too. For instance, I went to a Christian boarding school so we were influenced to be Christians.  It was more normal to be a Christian but here a young person being a Christian is not normal.  Most young people are drinking and partying.  I think Caymanians are predisposed to it.  I rarely drink because I'm scared of becoming an alcoholic. 

        Maybe some parenting classes from the time the children are in high school will help. Also, take advantage of Big brother/Big Sister for children but start from Primary school.  Don't wait till high school when it's too late.  Even high school kids mentoring primary school kids can help.

         

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry, but it seems clear that the bad apples in Cayman schools are making it very hard on everyone else in the classroom, including the teachers. Why should other students have to put up with constant disruptions?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do the schools in GC have an "in-house suspension" room? This would be a room where students would go when they are disruptive, but not quite disruptive enough to be sent home. The in-house room would be monitored and students would still be required to do classwork.

      The in-house room that I feel is most beneficial does not allow students to eat lunch with the general population, but they must remain in the "in-house room"  and eat a bag lunch provided by the cafeteria and they stay there an extra half hour of the school day. Most students do not want to return.