Four Reynold Weekes Primary School students ranging in ages from eigth to ten years have passed a big test and with flying colours.
It was some time after 3 p.m. on Monday when Nathan Leon Blackman and his twin sister Natalia Leon Blackman, their cousin Jaquon Blackman, all Class Three students and friend Jerome Forde who is in Class Two were at a bus stop in front of the school when they found a wallet belonging to Reginald Jones of Chapel, St Philip.
After contemplating what they should do with the wallet, the students placed it in the hands of snack vendor Ms Margaret, who sells in front of the school. Ms Margaret assured the students that she would do whatever was possible to ensure the wallet, which contained $140 along with other personal belongings, was returned to Jones.
The wallet was returned to Jones who is now feeling relieved and sastisfied that there is hope for the nation’s children.
The vendor’s daughter posted a picture of the students and their story on Facebook.
That post has since gone viral, capturing the attention of Barbadians who have been congratulating the students.
When Barbados TODAY visited the school this morning, Principal Anderson Bishop said he was extremely pleased with the students who have made the Four Roads, St Philip school proud.
The twins were not at school today. However, Jaquon and Jerome were smiling brightly as they told their story.
Jaquon told Barbados TODAY, “The wallet was returned to the owner because it was the right thing to do and plus we saw that a lot of money was in it and maybe he had bills to pay.
“Jerome stumbled upon the wallet first and told us, so were like what should we do with the wallet. We saw the $100 bill and the two Prescods and then we all agreed to take it to the woman who sells snacks,” Jaquon said.
“Margaret said that she would contact the person, and she did.”
The students said they were not expecting the praises that were being heaped on them because of their decision that afternoon.
“When I got to school today everybody asking ‘where you find the wallet?’ But my mom always told me to always do the right thing.
“My mom always tell me to be honest because it is good to be honest and you can have good luck because if you do good things, good would always follow you,” Jaquon said, as he stressed that he was actually enjoying the praises and words of encouragement.
Meanwhile, Principal Bishop said he has been receiving calls from several people, including representatives from the Ministry of Education, who offered words of congratulations to the students and the school. A special ceremony is scheduled to be held at the school for the students tomorrow morning, where they would be rewarded for their good deed.
The principal believes that the students’ exposure to the school’s Positive Behaviour Management Programme which encourages students to demonstrate honesty and other attributes, also had a lot to do with his charges making the right decision.
“We are very pleased to see that they have put it into practice. We often tell students that ‘your behaviour or bad conduct would not have an effect on you alone’. It is going to have an effect on the entire school.
“So when they represent the school, whether it is in football or cricket, athletics, or whatever, we demand excellence. So we are very pleased to see that these four students demonstrated that excellence in their behaviour and conduct in the very good deed which they performed yesterday,” Bishop said.
According to Bishop, while the teachings at the school must be highlighted, the childrens’ parents must also be patted on their backs.
“I also want to congratulate the parents of these children because the school did not do all of it. The school reinforces and emphasizes. Of course we would like, especially at this time when we hear so many negative things about society and children, that this very positive thing is seen by other children and adults as well, as an example of how they can demonstrate respect for property,” Bishop said.
Sitting at his home this afternoon, an emotional Jones said that while he was happy that his belongings were returned to him, he was especially pleased that there were parents who were still paying attention to raising their children to be honest citizens.
Jones said he believes his wallet dropped when he went to the school to collect his stepson, and spent some time fixing a part of his vehicle.
“When I get home a gentleman came here and asked me if I lost something, telling me that this lady has a wallet. So I went and just collected it from her. I was worried at first because it had in, not only the cash, but all of these cards and I don’t know what I would have done after. So I am very happy. This just shows that we still have honest children out there who are willing to do good things,” Jones said.
Jones’ wife Santia was also pleased with the students’ honest act which should be recognized.
“We decided that we would treat them, not just by doing it in words but also giving them a token of appreciation. But I also want to thank Margaret, the vendor who took it upon herself to call a person who lives in the neighbourhood to really get in touch with the real owner.
“So I don’t want to leave her out, but to thank her for going above and beyond to contact us so that the rightful owner would get back the wallet. I also want to thank the gentleman that came. I thank everybody that played a part in returning the wallet,” the wife said.