Combermere School In The Spotlight

It is not our intention to sensationalize a fight at one of our leading and older secondary school. What we found interesting about the video is the unwillingness of the other school children to step-up and ‘part’ the fight until the eleventh hour. We will not write that fights never occurred in our day while at school, what we can write however is to expose the reality that fights at most schools across Barbados today are as common as night as day. In our day it was an uncommon occurrence.

Is our educational system failing us? We await the findings of a committee established by the new government to make sweeping recommendations to revamp our current system of education.

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30 Comments on “Combermere School In The Spotlight”

  1. Anonymous April 8, 2008 at 9:24 PM #

    Is this fight for real? lol


  2. Adrian Hinds April 8, 2008 at 9:32 PM #

    There are quite a few Youtube bajan school fight and other fight scenes. Here is a 5 part bajan movie although not a fight scene there is sufficient voilence in it to warrant attention.


  3. Bush Tea April 8, 2008 at 10:47 PM #

    Man David,
    If things tight I would write an article for BU….

    What fight what?!? dem is Cormere jokers playing round wid a cell phone video…

    ..we had real real fights in my day….some including teachers, we used to learn ALL about life down there.

    …. now-a-days dey got too many women bout the place, the fellows don’t fight, nor play games- they would get too sweaty for the girls -and worse, the low pants may drop off…


  4. Tell me Why April 9, 2008 at 2:03 AM #

    Bush Tea. The red stain in his back is ketchup, the hockey stick made of rubber and the cuffs and kicks are make beliefs. The blows were so fast that you miss the fight. Probably, you need some glasses. Or you feel that the elite schools don’t engage in such behaviour.

    Good job BU in letting the public know that this behaviour is not the newersecondary only. This is an area were the mainstream media and hypocritical blogotist become bias journalist.


  5. David April 9, 2008 at 5:21 AM #

    Tell Me Why do you accept the message? As Barbadians we know that fights of the violent variety take place on our school compounds with too much frequency. It must be symptomatic of a social disease. We need to focus on these non sexy issues NOW.

    The children of today are the children of tomorrow!


  6. peltdownman April 9, 2008 at 7:04 AM #

    What I worry about with this fight is the use of a weapon (hockey stick), which could cause real injury. Fights happen all the time at school, and that will never change. If it happened at my school, the two fighters would be marched-off to the gym, made to wear boxing gloves and fight it out in front of a teacher, who would step in immediately one of them got on top. It was a great way to deal with bullies, as they could not count on their sycophants to back them up.


  7. Phoenix April 9, 2008 at 7:49 AM #

    I have to bring this video to the attention of the Hon. DT….PM of Barbados…..once the KING at Cawmere !

    I am sure he can curb this violence……with some BUSH TEA……if wunnah doubt me then……TELL ME WHY !


  8. So Long April 9, 2008 at 8:24 AM #

    Fights? Lodge school man, in the ’70’s. You should see Harris in action. Drip Kicks man, on concrete too.


  9. Adrian Hinds April 9, 2008 at 1:08 PM #

    So Long // April 9, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Fights? Lodge school man, in the ’70’s. You should see Harris in action. Drip Kicks man, on concrete too.


    ———–LIKE THIS ONE———-


  10. Adrian Hinds April 9, 2008 at 1:21 PM #

    Fight fight school fights galore.


  11. Adrian Hinds April 9, 2008 at 1:29 PM #

    Now check out de trees from whence de apples came.

    Fights fights, adult bajan fights


    They are others that are clearly stage and demonstrate some very good acting, film editing and movie directing skills as well.


  12. Bajanboy April 9, 2008 at 8:08 PM #

    Why aren’t the police and the Ministry of Education investigating these fights? I have downloaded these videos and am going to see if if anyone in the MOE is intersted in looking into them.


  13. Bush Tea April 9, 2008 at 9:28 PM #

    Anyone who understands the true role of a good school would be completely UNSHOCKED by the phenomena of occasional school fights.

    School is where children learn to become adults and to succeed in the real world. That means academics- true, but it also means making mistakes, trying different things, being rebellious, being corrected- and trust me, there is no better place to learn difficult lessons like these than in a good school.

    A good school will therefore have some fights, some bullying, and some other bad influences, but how these are handled and managed will determine the quality of the school.

    Where would you prefer that your child learn the lessons of life? like the fact that fighting hardly solves anything despite what he/she sees on TV? or how to stand up to bullies? … not in a school where there are caring teachers, guidance counsellors, prefects etc?

    Also, anyone who interacts with teenagers knows that nothing pleases them more than to shock us stupid adults. Staged school fights, present a simple, cheap and ideal means of doing that, so I watch such videos with a pinch of skepticism…

    My last fight was at school…. and 40 years later the lessons learnt then have saved me from many more potentially life-changing fights in my life….. I now also have ZERO fear of bullies as a result of ‘unpleasant’ fight situations learned at school… only back then, we had no cell phone videos, else my recollection of the results of that bout may not be as complimentary as I seem to recall….


  14. Asiba-The Buffalo Soldier April 10, 2008 at 12:14 AM #

    what they are not teaching these people is their history

    if the history were taught there would be no time for fights especially if the role of combermere in the perpetuation of race and class discrimination and legacy of colonialism was fully ventilated. combermere has contributed significantly to the colonial legacy as a so-called elite school in the early days


  15. peltdownman April 10, 2008 at 2:43 PM #

    Come outside and say that!


  16. Adrian Hinds April 10, 2008 at 5:16 PM #

    Bush Tea it appears to me that you think some if not all of these videos are staged. I have seen the first one listed by BU without the music and i did not get a sense that it was staged.


  17. Bush Tea April 10, 2008 at 7:40 PM #

    Adrian Hinds
    .. according to your statement, Bush tea appears to think that some school fights are real. I only looked briefly at a few of the videos…

    My point is that school fights are much like traffic jams – part of life (school) that we would prefer not to have, but which, if we are smart, may be helpful in guiding us to properly plan our future.
    Big able people fight. Rich ones use their lawyers as weapons of choice. Some like GWB sends his young citizens over to Iraq to fight and die daily. … What is so earth shattering about two 13 year olds having a slug out?

    Peltdownman’s solution of handing out boxing gloves and appointing a teacher as referee is brilliant. Indeed one Karl Broodhagen did exactly that for decades at the same Cawmere.
    I could name some current outstanding citizens who benefited from such strategies – but won’t…


  18. Adrian Hinds April 11, 2008 at 9:23 AM #

    Here is the same fight without the music


  19. Adrian Hinds April 11, 2008 at 9:42 AM #

    Bush Tea your position on the evidence at hand (the youtube fights) differs from Peltdown suggestion with which you agree.

    In all the fights scenes we have seen, no teacher was present, and there is no indication that anything useful is being learnt from this violence. If you are confident that they are learning useful life lessens in this manner (unsupervised violence) then why do we need Teachers to teach anything?

    There is a time and a place for everything, and this kind of combat certainly should not be allowed in a place of learning and in the manner that we have seen, in these videos.

    ….Now i agree with Peltdown’s approach, indeed my son and I engage in such activity every Saturday via Mix martial arts where we can fight (spar) with as many 10 people one after the next for two minutes at a time no breaks in between.


  20. Bush Tea April 11, 2008 at 11:11 PM #

    Adrian Hinds..
    I done with this fight thing – unless you want to step outside too…

    … but if you read me to say that the fighting itself was a good thing or that teachers were present in your videos, then that only goes to show the degree of my challenge with communication.

    – Fighting is BAD
    – it happens as a result of immature behaviors
    – one should therefore NOT be surprised that some children may fight from time to time
    – If it is to happen, then maybe at school is the best place, since there are good supervisors there and fighters are likely to be identified and dealt with.
    -WHEN CAUGHT, a possible tactic could be to supply gloves and force the culprits to box a supervised bout.
    – After proper intervention from good teachers, ‘fighters’ should learn valuable lessons that serve them well in life.
    – the end.


  21. helter skelter April 14, 2008 at 2:53 PM #

    Whenever I hear Combermere I think of K.B. Kleen. Not good at all.


  22. The Devils Advocate April 15, 2008 at 4:15 PM #

    We need safe outlets for both boys and girls to deal with feelings of aggression since both sexes are capable of extreme violence. I taught at St. Leonards girls for a short time and we had more frequent and more extreme violence than at the boys school. Some of these girls were victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse and they took out ther frustrations on those who they felt they could handle. But when they started to fight their opponents became their abusers by proxy and they dealt with them so violently that blood flowed. Most of those fights were worst than the one shown at Combermere. Girls do not ‘slap slap’ fight anymore. Fists, elbows , kness and weapons are the methods of aggression and they are not afraid of males or afraid to take them on. The abused and powerless little girl can become a very dangerous woman if we do not help her learn to deal with her aggression. I was once a potentially dangerous woman but I studied Tai Kwon Do and learned how to manage my temper and I had an outlet for my aggression. People tend to provoke and underestimate violent and aggressive females, but as in Jamaica, when men are violent towards females in word and deed, and it is accepted in society, eventually the women will adjust to suit. Strangely enough though no one will be bothered about the footage shown at Combermere because we believe that male aggression is normal. If two girls went at each other with hockey sticks we would act like the whole society would fall. Why? Look at the way women are treated daily on the streets of Barbados. It is only a matter of time before they fight back.


  23. Proud Combermerian April 21, 2008 at 3:34 PM #

    Combermere??? An elitist school in early colonial times??? Asiba needs to talk to someone like Wes Hall or George Lamming and get the facts straight. Combermere was the place for poorblack boys who had brains to go to during colonial times. Did you know that Combermere had to fight hard to attain 6th for status. When 6th forms were instituted the only schools awarded that status were Harrison College, Lodge School and Queen’s College.
    Boys at Combermere were considered ‘barefoot po black boys, that like to run bout wild in the sun’. Talk to any person that went to Harrison College or Lodge in those days and they would tell you that Combermere was not a school of choice for those of the elite plantocracy or mercantile classes.
    The reason why Combermere enjoys the so-called elitist status today is because it is the alma mater of persons like Wes Hall, Conrad Hunte, Frank Collymore, George Lamming, Arturo Tappin and Peter Harris to name a few of the outstanding ‘barefoot po black boys’ that went to Combermere.
    Most if not all of the above mentioned came from poor backgrounds and had to work hard to get where they are today, as they did not have the luxury of having wealthy parents with contacts to get them good jobs to fall back on.
    It is because these students of Combermere used their god-given talents, be it academically, athletically, artistically or technically, to suceed that the future generations of Combermerians enjoy the status of being one of the schools of choice today.

    As to the video, I am ashamed of it as a proud Combermerian, but as anyone would tell you, fights are a part of school life. I remember my uncle, who is a former Harrisonian, telling me about the fights between Harrison College and Lodge in the ’70’s and ’80’s.
    And by the same token there are number of horrendous fights that go on at a number of the newer secondary schools. Fights are not unique to one school or a particular type of school, but is simply part and parcel of secondary school life.


  24. Anonymous April 29, 2008 at 1:17 PM #

    Up and On, haters!


  25. presentstudent:DW June 12, 2008 at 4:17 PM #

    i find it very appauling that there was a need to use a video showcasing the events at a local school which are downgrading not only to the school itself but to the students who attend and other members in that generation. Could another way not be found to showcase your point without showing ANY particular school. i believe this was a blatent attack on the very principles of the school inorder to showcase the more undesirable side and in turn degrade and diminish its reputation. while i do agree that the fights and other unwanted behaviour needs to be stopped and immediate action needs to be taken i do not belief that the method you used was indeed appropriate. like the saying goes: “its not what but how!”


  26. Sargeant June 12, 2008 at 6:26 PM #

    Present Student…. I hope spelling is taught at Combermere. Appauling? Blatent?….. Atrocious!!!!!


  27. sungoddess September 21, 2008 at 10:02 AM #

    Asiba! Asiba! Asiba!

    Did you go to school at Combermere? I think only an outsider would say that. They would say it because Combermerians are clannish… we are tribesy… we have a unified view of our time spent at Waterford that no other school in Barbados is capable of producing in their student population.

    None of us can quite explain what it is. What is about being Combermerian that makes us cleave together like a single fist? Whatever it is, it runs through even the meekest and quietest of us and broad and sprawling through the rest of us. It’s there and it is what it is.

    I realise, like most of my kith from Combermere and indeed my kin who attended, that sometimes it seems as though the rest of Barbados has a complex about our clannishness. Mention you are a Combermerian and I get, “Oh… you’re one of those.” With a look of distaste.

    At any rate, I watched the video. And that was a very soft, cakey type of fight. I’ve seen MUCH worse in the hallowed halls of Waterford Uni.

    May I point out that, it was stick and stone, and not gun and knife or broken bottle, which is a testament to restraint in this day and age. Also, boys fight…

    I am NOT condoning this as a solution to problems, but these are HUMANS we are talking about. Young ones with raging hormones and excess energy and very few pubic hairs. I agree with an earlier commenter that these sorts of fights in school are often blowing off steam, learning lessons in how to defend oneself… this is necessary.

    In a world where traditional tribal rites of passage are almost no more, Combermere still has that even if it is couched in the internal politics of a 400 year-old school. I think rites of passage are necessary for the social, emotional and spiritual development of individuals and societies on a greater scale. In our modern post-slavery, post-modern, post-post world, our rites of passage have changed, and transmuted, but they are there.

    The whole concept that Combermere contributed to the elitism of Barbados is nonsense. Utter nonsense steeped in ignorance of our history as an institution and quite possibly more than a latent jealousy.

    Check “Proud Combermerian’s” comment above, which breaks down the REAL origin of our school, and why we’re so proud of it.

    Doan get tie up Asiba, Combermere is the first school in the former British empire to educate black people. Let QC or HC claim that. Cannot happen…

    If anything, Combermere has been a bastion… working to level the playing field for the life of it’s formation as a school.

    So when you say that MY school is elitist, I scoff and echo peltdownman, “You wanna step outside and say that shit again?”


    Side NOTE: presentstudent:DW, please, please… Mr. Wharton would sort you out if he was still there. Go and see Mrs. Phillips… use spell check, something. Please, please, your comments are valid, but you MUST learn to articulate in proper English, mate. Life skill… plus you embarrass the rest of us who are ADAMANT about what we learnt at Combermere and that INCLUDES being able to form lucid, well articulated sentences.


  28. Enxee October 26, 2008 at 9:27 PM #

    I am a current student of the Combermere school and when I read comments like the one above by sungoddess, I feel proud. Yes this was a real fight, and to try to break it apart would only have caused more injury. The jealousy displayed by non-comberians is what makes us stronger, and it is what has kept, is keeping and will keeping our flame burning brightly ever, Up and on…


  29. HURB June 13, 2009 at 7:56 PM #

    what is the name of the song in the video cawmere big fight


  30. mk lady November 17, 2009 at 1:27 PM #

    I have to say that i go combermere and that fight was real and by the way going to Combermere ” one of the oldest schools ” doesn’t change the fact that we are children , no different from those of St.Michael’s or Lodge or St.Lucy’s( never said i accepted it )


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