Cameras will soon be monitoring almost every move of students in schools across Barbados.
Minister of Education Ronald Jones disclosed tonight that to help address the issues of bullying and vandalism, cameras would be installed everywhere deemed necessary on school compounds. Addressing the Lester Vaughan School’s Parent-Teacher Association, he said too many students were guilty of vandalizing school property and doing “foolishness”, and those practices needed to be eliminated.
“There must be vigilance . . . . There is not going to be any privacy. You are coming to a public school –– no privacy. The only place it might be private is when you go into the washrooms –– in the latrines, as we used to call them in the good old days,” Jones said.
“So we are going to put cameras in all the schools, both internal security and external security as well, and good speaker systems. So when you see a child doing foolishness, know the names of the children: ‘John Brown, what are you doing? I have my eyes on you’. Pull them up.
“It will eliminate some of the bullying and some of the foolishness. And in the dark spots –– you know, like underneath the stairwells –– put them out there too. We are going to do it. We have to protect our children,” Jones added.
Saying that everyone was “in this together” in the disciplining of the island’s children, Jones said there was need for greater respect of school property.
Drawing reference to missing louvres on almost an entire block at the Lester Vaughan School, Jones said it was the responsibility of both teachers and residents to help discipline children.
“I have heard of stories of children [kicking] those louvres out . . . . They pull off sinks and toilet bowls. The Education Act says once you can determine who that individual is, the parent should pay for it. Not only for the cost of the bowl, but its restoration . . . . That law went into effect about 15 or 20 years now and I have only heard of a few parents who have paid,” the minister said.