I’m a concerned parent and I was shocked to read David Levenstone’s comment this morning on Facebook about the alleged violation of student’s rights at SCS by the Director and the Care Coordinator of the Saba Comprehensive School. Not knowing much about the details about the recent events at the school I spoke to other parents and here is what I learned.
Two female students in Form One have been setting up dummy accounts on Facebook and other social internet sites, in order to harass and make fun of other female students at SCS. After months of harassment and childishness, three girls in Form 3 decided to get even. They set up a dummy online account and began bad mouthing the two girls in Form One. The online battle began between the two groups. Let it be noted that this happened on Friday evening and not during school hours. I do not condone the actions of any of these girls, but they are children under the eyes of the law.
On Monday morning, the Director and the Care Coordinator called the police at the request of one of the Form One’s mother who complained that her child was being cyber-bullied. The Director and the Care Coordinator then cherry picked certain female students, whom they believed to be involved and they spent the better half of the day questioning them about the incident. No parent was called ahead of time regarding this issue, before the questioning began and no parent was there to support their child.
After questioning the girls, the Director suspended the three Form 3 girls who decided to fight back. The two girls in Form One who started it all were not suspended.
In my opinion, the Director is sending a very dangerous message to the girls in Form 1 that it is OK to continue behaving as badly as they have been for months. The other issue is how the school can justify suspending students for actions taken outside of school.
A letter, dated January 13, 2015, was sent from the Director to all parents telling us that cyber bullying is a serious offense. The Director explained, that “Saba Comprehensive School would like to emphasize that under no circumstances is bullying, in whatever way or form, condoned and serious measures will be taken against students who bully others”.
The Director and the Care Coordinator have no grounds for suspending any child in this incident because IT DID NOT OCCUR ON SCHOOL PROPERTY. The letter that we parents received clearly states that SCS was reacting to events that occurred over the weekend. I did not know that SCS could suspend a student for something they did outside of school hours and not on school property. IF IT ISN’T ON SCHOOL PROPERTY THEN THE SCHOOL CANNOT TAKE ANY ACTION!
The truth is, that, in my opinion, the Director and the Care Coordinator’s actions were exactly what they accused the students of doing. They were bullying them with no recourse to defend themselves. I know that some parents have, or are planning to speak to our Commissioner of Education and Governor Jonathan Johnson regarding this issue.
Name withheld on request.