A Government spokesman has expressed horror at the behaviour of two adults, who were involved in an altercation with police after one of them was seen smoking what appeared to be marijuana on the premises of the Christ Church Foundation School where students from the Christ Church Girls’ Primary were staging their annual sports day.
Delivering the weekly Astor B Watts lunchtime lecture on Friday at the ruling Democratic Labour Party’s George Street auditorium, Member of Parliament for St Michael West Central James Paul condemned the behaviour, saying it was nothing short of a national disgrace.
“I was horrified when I came across this thing that happened in relation to the schools, and I think that any well-thinking Barbadian should be horrified. Not because of the fact that these things are there, but it is in the approach, the fact that we as Barbadians are prepared to let our standards drop so low that we cannot treat the issues in a manner that is responsible,” he said.
“We as adults can stand before our young people and behave in a manner which we should be ashamed of. We behave in the most disapproving manner in front of our young people, yet we expect those same young people to respect us. We expect those same young people not to go out there and sell their bodies, we expect those same young people to go out there and have good values. How can you not expect this when we abuse authority and behave in the worse way in an environment where there are children? ” Paul asked.
He was reacting to Wednesday’s incident, which was captured on video, and which led to the arrest and subsequent imposition of fines on Trinia Norella Clarke, 27, and her 21-year-old brother Rommell Rishon Clarke.
Yesterday, the woman pleaded guilty before Magistrate Elwood Watts to assaulting and obstructing Sergeant Jacqueline Bourne in the execution on her duties.
She also admitted to assaulting the officer, occasioning her actual bodily harm, and to destroying a $1,000 pair of glasses belonging to the officer, while her brother pleaded guilty to refusing to leave the premises of the Christ Church Foundation School when ordered to do so by police.
According Station Sergeant Rudolph Burnett, Rommel was among a group of men smoking while attending the school sports.
The principal of the school approached Sergeant Bourne and other officers for assistance in asking the group to leave. As the police approached, a number of the men “moved off”, but Rommel refused to leave, saying he had come to see his niece compete.
Yesterday, the court also heard how his sister had intervened when she saw her brother being arrested for trespassing. She was asked to stop in obstructing the police in executing their duty but refused to comply.
Sergeant Bourne then held on to Trinia, who started to fight the officer, striking her in the ear, arm and eye. One of the officer’s fingers was also sprained in the melee and her glasses destroyed.
In light of the incident, Paul today warned Barbadians not to be “held hostage by the minority people who want to behave in the most crass manner”.
“The values that we have and hold dear to us is what will influence how we go forward in the future,” he said, adding that, “I call it [a] disgrace, showing disrespect for the law in front of the children. These are the next generation. These are the people you are saying, ‘I am passing on values to you,’” Paul added.