Rivers: Bad school behaviour will have consequences

| 15/05/2014

(CNS): In the wake of reports and concerns over violence and the anti-social behaviour of some students in government schools, the minister for education is promising sanctions and consequences under a new behaviour management system the ministry is implementing for the start of the next school year in September. During a West Bay meeting on Monday evening Tara Rivers said schools will have control of behaviour in the new policy after management system weaknesses had been identified in a recent review. Rivers told West Bayers that the ministry has developed clear guidelines about behaviour expectations, setting out who is responsible for what.

The minister stated that she has made it clear to the team at the education department to take responsibility for implementing the new system and making it work but she said this did not mean that parents were absolved of their responsibilities regarding their own children’s behaviour in the classroom. Warning that there will be clear consequences and sanctions under the new system,the schools were no longer going to tolerate the disruptions that are caused by just a few students.

She added, however, that the government has a responsibility to educate all children and solutions were still needed to tackle the severe behaviour problems affecting some young people. Rivers indicted that schools would be given more direct control and more resources to manage the problems and support to enforce the rules but with that would come more responsibility and accountability. To start to address this, she said, the education department was piloting a pastoral support programme in some schools to help with troubled students. She said people were being trained to work directly with those young people with behaviour issues.

The new management system, the minister indicated, would be rolled out in the high schools first and would be applied across the board before being implemented in the primary schools.

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  1. A West Bayer says:

    The Bible says "spare the rod spoil the child"…now you see the consequences of not giving them a good assing when they need it, the spoiled little brats….yes, parents, keep following other countries in all their politically correct bullshit and see where it gets you. We got beat and turned out fine, why are you people hating your children? Stupid!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Finally we have heard from the Chief Education Officer, but not a peep from the Chief Officer in the Education Ministry. Why is this?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Our premier, who had such a lot to say about education whilst minister for education, seems totally mute on the catastrophe that is unfolding in our education system. The Caymanian public appears to be ignoring this reality. Why? In other countries the leader of the day speaks out on matters of national concern. But not in Cayman. Again, why?

    • And Nother Ting says:

      Why 23:55 ?  because he made the big mess as Minister or you forget.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is Tara Rivers only the political spokesperson for the Education civil servants or does she really know what is going on?

    Having out of control students is no joke. For a male teacher to be punched to the ground and kicked goes into the realm of criminal behavior.

    How are the female teachers expected to deal with these out of control young people?

    How would Tara Rivers deal with being faced by one of these unmanageable youth?

    A student does not have the right to disrupt the learning environment for an entire class, if they are so disruptive they need to be removed.

    • John says:

      Removal only puts them in another environment where they can be disruptive to others.  They don't need to be removed; they need to be controlled through positive or negative feedback in response to their actions. 

    • Anonymous says:

      09:30.Obviously you are not responding to this article,so the whole point of your post must simply be to show your dislike of Tara.

    • Anonymous says:

      Goes into the realm= IS criminal behavior. (FTFY)

  5. Anon says:
    6. of or relating to a teacher's responsibility for the personal, as the distinct from the educational, development of pupils
    World English Dictionary  (one of the definitions of "Pastoral" )
  6. Anonymous says:

    Less talk and more direct action please. The Ministry and Department of Education are a mess and have been for years but parents have to set better examples and raise their kids with proper guidance and rules. Anti-social behavior starts in the home and Caymanians have got to stop making excuses. The failures are at multiple levels yet nobody is held responsible so all we get are long winded speeches and nothing seems to change.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said!

      And the Police really need to set a better example….consistently! I see glaring examples of persons talking on the phone and parking ilegally in handi – capped spaces….and have yet to see the Police even warning offenders. Trash is another example….does anyone know of even one single case where anyone has been fined or prosecuted?

      These consistent examples of us making laws (on the books) and then not enforcing the laws, set a strong example for many people to behave (or mis – behave) any how they feel.

      We sure do a lot of talking…and studies…and draw up programs and more program….but very little actual meaningful consequences are ever applied.

  7. Caymanian Donkey says:

    1) Bring the whip back to the schools

    2) If a parent cmes to the school B..ch that their child has been beaten, beat them!!!!!

    3) Give the power back to the teachers

    4) Class should start at 8am and get out at 5:30pm

    Now on another note,these problems are not just in Gov Schools, look what happened last week, it happens in all school..


    • Anonymous says:

      Yup, not enough good ol' fashioned Christian violence here.

      Remove them. Put them to work 

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is the same old same old.  So called experts are going to provide charts and graphs, cut and paste policies from here and there, have name changes and launching ceremonies and leave teachers in the same abusive mess in schools that the public will hardly ever hear about.

    Fact is that the high schools deal with behaviour crises on a day to day basis and the staff dealing with behaviour are sorely underpaid and overstressed; as they can't be paid for their services in dollars. With hundreds of calls from teachers to remove disruptive students referred everday.. I often wonder how these people go back into these buildings on a daily basis.

    The situation cannot be changed by knee jerk solutions. The solution will only be realized when the society realizes that all the agencies dealing with children must work together. Many students enter local schools with an attitude of entitlement. That they can disrespect staff who are not Caymanian, that this attitude and the resultant actions  of disrespect would and should be supported by their parents.

    The significant numbers of students with mental health issues who are on medication and who are yet to be assessed mixed in with those with conduct issues is a challenge to even the best trained teacher.

    The powers need to reintroduce alternative education with tailored curriculum to suit the learning profiles of affected students.

    The powers need to invest seriously in parenting as part of the graduating process,  as part of the rehabilitation process in prisons, as a sentencing option for the courts, and as a prerequisite for receiving state funds for support where parenting is an issue.

    Until we are ready to make these adjustments  to the current system I would advise teachers to take cover!


  9. Anonymous says:

    Listen the minute Cayman adapted to the American way of thinking in relations to the school system… our school system has gone down hill.
    No things is or was wrong with strapping a student?? Parents need to realize that if they cant do the punishing at home then when the child goes to school with the same behaviour there will be consequences.
    I am a parent and I support the strapping in school I also support the spanking / beatings / whooping what ever you may know it as in homes as the last resort of punishment.
    Stop being your children friend and be the parent have enough fear in your children that they will know that there is a punishment for every wrong doing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Beating your child eh? Well maybe you want your child developing aggressive and bullying behavior toward others. They may not be too smart though, as they tend to develop  cognitive deficits and lower IQ's, but maybe you want that too. Oh, and don't be too sure they won't develop mental health issues as they grow up, and sexual problems as adults as they conflate physical pain and humiliation with love.

      But hey, just as you desire, guaranteed they will fear you, and won't be your friend. In fact, maybe in your old age when you're weak and helpless, they'll reciprocate the beatings!

      • Anonymous says:

        If I was rude to an adult or teacher I would have had a slap on the leg or butt!  that is different than a beating that left bruises (that IS abuse) I grew up with no mental issues, I have respect for myself and peers! some times words do not work. Just out of curiosty what would you do if your child was rude disrespectful to all around them?  They have even taken out writing 100 lines! again I had them I turned out a hard working and happily married!

      • Anonymous says:

        I was beat (not abused) as a kid for doing things i was not supposed to do.i graduated high school close to the top of my class, just graduated college, and have no mental or serial issues. I fully support beating as a form of discipline. And no, i do not hate my parents for beating me, in fact I've grown to understand why they did it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Strapping is not needed, but a tough, consistent discipline plan does need to be in place, understood by all and endorced!

    • Anonymous says:

      Why is religion always the answer here???? I don't think pastroal support is going to help some of the students….what happens if they don't believe in god? Then what?

      • Anonymous says:

        – 07:15. I do not believe Tara was referring to religion when she used the word 'pastoral'. Here is a more suitable definition taken from Oxford Dictionary:Pastoral- Relating to or denoting a teacher's responsibility for the general well-being of pupils or student.

      • Anonymous says:

        They are taught to fear and love god.  Welcome to sado-masochism 101.

    • Savannah Resident says:

      Correction, Cayman has adopted a failing UK education system.  

  10. Anonymous says:

    Tara you have to stand strong against these vipers. Stop letting them disrupt our schools. That goes for the parents also. legislate a law to lockthem up for dragging up their children.

    We need to get back to the basic of punishmnet when misbehaved, it worked great back then and its the only thing will work now.

    Do not follow the human rights laws, they are criminals and want to destroy the world with lawless people.

    They are forcing countries to return harden criminals back on the streets.

    Check these people origin and see where they came from. Romans, Gladiators, murderers, arenas.

    The world has become their arenas!

  11. Anonymous says:

    The consequences better be SEVERE and SWIFT.  Discipline needs to be applied early and "with teeth" to have any lasting effect on the child's life.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, and it usually starts at home, there-in lies the problem. Piss-poor parenting these days.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Pastoral support programme ?

    I just trew up.

    Everything is this country needs to be solved through religion it seems.  Why not use common sense.

    Behave and otherwise your parents go to jail. Simple.

    • Anon says:

      "Pastoral support" is not necessarily linked to religion. Look up the meaning of the word "pastoral". 

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh dear. Pastoral care is nothing to do with religion or pastors…it's a term used across the world in education to describe personal, social and emotional wellbeing in schools, as opposed to academics.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It helped years ago!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Suspension= Vacation

    Unless the discipline disrupts the parents day it is not going to bother the student. Phone calls home, parent must come in to settle the issue, etc. Students do not want to see their parent marching into school and that is the last place the parent wants to be.

    A strict in-house suspension room is also beneficial and so is morning or Saturday detention.

    • Anonymous says:

      This must start the first day of school in all grades not just in the high school. Also, letters to the student and parent must go out during the summer explaining the new code of discipline and hopefully dress code/electronics policy (if that is also needed) so that on day one all methods are put in place and enforced. Consistency of the policy is needed day one thru 180+ from teachers, counselors, administrators etc. for this to work. The first month will be the toughest, but do not bend the rules.

    • Anonymous says:

      and this must be equally applied to all, no matter who your Daddy knows……….

  15. Anonymous says:

    Let us read and understand:  "she said this did not mean that parents were absolved of their responsibilities regarding their own children’s behaviour."   By this we are meant to interpret that the 'clear consequences and sanctions' will be applied to students as well as their slacking parents.  Because that is what has brought us here: lack of parents' involvement in the raising of their children.  Buying them the latest pair of Jordans or a Honda Civic for them to speed with does not a good parent make, People!!   Teach your children to respect themselves, their peers and authority figures and we will see improvement.

  16. Anonymous says:

    She and her department talk in meaningless jargon. This management-speak has to stop, and clear words with clear action need to take its place.

    it sounds to me like the minister is being run by the department….

  17. Anonymous says:

    Poor Tara. I reckon I know who wrote this stuff – someone who wants to put as much space between the ministry and the dreadful mess it created in the schools. How about the ministry stepping up and taking some accountabilty for a change?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Seems like the problems need to be address simultaneously at the primary school level, before these behavior issues take root.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Oh please this has been going on for so long..what consequences? suspension from school, thats gonna help for sure

    • Cheese Face says:

      What would you suggest?

      • Anonymous says:


        Where is the Chief Officer for Ministry of Education. Seems that office is DEAD. Get the Chief Officers office operational. I have not heard or seen the Chief Officer who should also be dealing with all these issues. Or is this a set up from the Chief Officer for the Minister to fail. Minister of Education needs to put fire under her staff as well.

        Some schools have not seen or heard from the Chief Officer for the school year. Poor performance or is it time for her departure.

    • Jah Dread says:

      Look Minisyer Tara, the root cause, the root cause has to be tackled along with the discipline "in the school".what I'm trying to say is pastoral work is also needed for the parents. There has to be an analysis of the whole life cycle of the child.   : parent, sorroundings, nutrition, health history etc. I know well ya gotta tackle one thing at a time , start somewhere eh, but remember ya no gonna solve anything until you fully examine the causes of the behavior and find ways to correct whatever imbalances may be found. Tall order nah , well ya signed up for the job and we the people expect good results.

      Jah Bless these Cayman Islands.