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Girls sent to GIS

by Barbados Today
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The island’s top magistrate today chastised four female minors telling them that their focus should be on school at this time and not on “having your names appear on charge sheets”.

Chief Magistrate Christopher Birch scolded the 14-year-olds this afternoon in the District ‘C’ St Mathias Magistrates’ Court where they appeared on several assault charges. They were not required to enter pleas.

The four, all students from the St Michael area, was sent to the Government Industrial School (GIS) after a probation officer gave Birch a brief school report on them.

“They have not been in school long enough to be getting into fights. The only fights they have are with the books. That’s the only fight that they should be having, getting into their education, wrestling that knowledge down to the ground and
making sure that . . . they get some good grades that is the only fighting that they should be getting into,” the Chief Magistrate said.

The probation officer also informed the judicial officer that in one case threats are being made via social media involving a parent.

“They certainly should not be involved in any social media feuding, aided and abetted by the parent. That is not what our taxpayers’ monies are paying for.”

Birch went on to tell the accused teens they should be mindful of their other actions as anything captured on social media was permanent.

“You’ll be 20 years down the road and it is still there to be seen when you go to apply for community college, the polytechnic and the university. When you all go to jobs, some officious and ill-minded person will bring it back up. Are you all learning nothing from all that has happened with other people?”

He said at this stage in their life the focus should on pending examinations and summer vacation.

“All of you at 14 should be getting ready for your first round of school-based assessments, for your CXC’s not having your names appear on charge sheets.

“At 14 you should be getting ready to enjoy your summer vacation. It’s very hard to enjoy summer vacation when you are at the Government Industrial School.

“I find that a lot of us in this society aren’t thinking ahead of the consequences. We only think of actions in the moment. Words, blows, bullets – three things that once you throw them out there they do not come back,” the concerned Chief Magistrate stated before remanding the girls to the GIS until Wednesday, June 26. They will appear before the Juvenile court judge on that day.

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