Head of the Barbados National Council for Parent-Teacher Association Rhonda Blackman says it’s time for drastic action to be taken to curb lawlessness by some students on school buses.
She said authorities need to take a stand now to wrestle control of the situation due to increasing violence, vandalism and other types of bad behaviour among the youth.
“A real serious concern for us is the behaviour on the buses. [Maybe] the Transport Board could put people in place, or even if the police could ride the buses sometimes and get these children who are disruptive [under control], or make them accountable charge them or something,” she told Barbados TODAY.
“I make no apologies for saying that because they need to understand there is a certain decorum, a certain level of behaviour [that is expected] and when you are wearing your school uniform, your school uniform should be worn with respect.”
Blackman was hopeful the situation would be curbed during this academic year, which got underway yesterday.
“We are hoping that parents instill the correct values in their children. We are hoping the children recognise the honour and value in wearing their school uniform and behave in a particular manner while on and off the road,” she said.
“We need to have the buses policed because there’s supervision from 9-3 but after 3 o’clock, we have a serious concern about the behaviour in the bus terminals and on the buses.”
Just yesterday, Minister of Transport Michael Lashley announced that he would soon take a proposal to Cabinet that would restrict students from travelling on Transport Board buses for free outside specified hours, due to abuse of the system.
Minister of Education Ronald Jones said he also had serious concerns about the number of students caught joyriding on the buses and intended to keep a close eye on the problem.
Blackman insisted that the actions by authorities should go even further.
“What is concern is the amount of time we see school children loitering before and after school. There should be a policy in place where, at a certain time, all schoolchildren should be off the road in their uniforms. School begins at 8:45 am so unless you have a medical reason or unless you have an appointment we don’t expect to see you on the road, and if you are, then you should be accompanied by an adult,” the association head insisted.