Chairman of Drug Education And Counselling Services (DECS), Roger Husbands, is proposing drastic measures to deal with the problem of bullying in the island’s school.
These range from incarceration of parents to putting bullies out of school and into a special boot camp under the direction of the Barbados Defence Force.
The counsellor and youth activist, at a Press conference this morning at his Bay Street office, warned that the island’s schools were in crisis and had to rescued.
“We have gangs in the schools. There are some fellas that we can identify as the gangsters in our schools, who are taking little children’s money [in order to] support their rights as big bosses in the schools. Take them out and send them to boot camp,” he said, while cautioning that “this bullying thing is not going to stop unless we get serious”.
He continued: “A seminar ain’t goin’ help, counselling ain’t goin’ help, if you still got a bully in the school . . . . If that bully is coming to school to fight with children and to carry away their money, he is not coming school to learn.”
He stressed that the authorities needed to get those students out of school, adding that the parents of bullies should also be penalized.
recounting an incident in which a “bully” had his neck slashed by a victim and was forced to seek medical treatment, Husbands said: “I went to the hospital and the boy’s mother was saying ‘my boy never touch nobody . . . and they were so much in denial that this boy was a bully
“That is why we need the Family Law Act to be changed, so that at the end of the day we can start to penalize some of those parents who are playing the fool,” he said.
“Until we can get some of these parents in prison, a lot of them aren’t going to learn,” he added.
In a wide-ranging Press conference, he appealed to Minister of Education Ronald Jones to “call in all the players” to see what could be done to turn around a situation, which he has suggested is threatening to spiral out of control.
“I’m tired of seeing so many young people coming out of school with out CXCs. I’m just tired of that. That should not be happening. I’m just tired of young people coming out and not having anything to do, but go on a block and sit down [or go out] by the highway or car park and try to sell some dunks or ackees.”
“The school system needs to be looked at,” contended Husbands, who said he had seen with his own eyes, schoolchildren going into houses and having sex before going to school, and drinking alcohol in flasks disguised as other beverages.