GIS Saga Continues – Report of Another Suicide Plot

Submitted by Women in Action Network (WiAN)

The Women in Action Network (WiAN) is expressing urgent concern for the lives of the Wards at GIS after receiving reliable information of another suicide plot to be carried out within hours.

It is clear that the Minister, the Board and the Management of the GIS are unable to secure the lives and wellbeing of these girls and all of them must be removed and the girls released to their parents or into alternative care.

The pressure driving these teenage girls to suicide over and over again comes from within the institution. Interim President of WiAN Tempu Nefertari recounts witnessing an example of the psychological torment inflicted on a particular ward on a recent visit to the institution and is calling for the end to this era of institutional abuse at the GIS.

Should there be a loss of life at GIS, this entire government will have the blood of those girls on their hands and will go down in history as sitting idly by and turning a blind eye to the incompetence of Minister Wilfred Abrahams. Do not let this be a case of “hard ears you won’t hear, own way you goin’ feel”. 

47 thoughts on “GIS Saga Continues – Report of Another Suicide Plot

  1. yep…the main reason everything has TURNED TO SHIT….100 years worth…

  2. Last thing I heard they were waiting to interview some girls who had been unavailable.

    I wonder what is the hold up now for the past due report upon which corrective action is to be based.


  3. Results of GIS probe ‘soon’

    The long anticipated results of the probe into the Government Industrial School (GIS) will be coming “soon”.
    This was as much as Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams would say when asked yesterday, as he had done on July 12 when also asked.
    Back then, he said the inquiry was almost complete pending the participation of the two young women who had escaped the facility. He had said the investigation was considering all operating aspects of the school, and asked the public to be patient and await the results and the recommendations proposed for the GIS.
    In April, Abrahams announced that former deputy commissioner of police Oral Williams would lead the inquiry panel, which would also comprise educator Tessa Chaderton-Shaw and former principal of Queen’s College, Coreen Kennedy-Taitt. The probe was slated to run for six weeks.
    In May, one of the girls was placed on suicide watch and transferred to the Psychiatric Hospital, from which she again escaped.
    However, Abrahams said, following an investigation, there had not been any suicide attempt. The young woman is now back at the Psychiatric Hospital.
    In June, the Women In Action umbrella group gave Abrahams a deadline to make the report public. Representative Tempu Nefertari said the network, made up of non-governmental organisations and individuals, wanted to know how the rehabilitative needs of the girls on suicide watch as well as those confined at the Barrows Unit in St Lucy were being addressed.
    “It is a problem when the adults in the society are not keeping watch over the children. The situation at hand says to us that it will not be enough to repeal laws, reform legislation and change staff; this calls for an extensive educational outreach across the society. What is Government waiting for?” she said then.
    The issue came to a head on April 16 when two wards escaped the Barrows facility, prompting a search. After they returned of their own accord, allegations of abuse emerged and advocacy group Operation Safe Space filed a constitutional motion to have them relocated.
    It was eventually successful at the Court of Appeal, which sent the case back to High Court.
    The girls were ordered immediately moved from the facility. (CA)

    Source: Nation

  4. These girls are the children of poor working class families. The markup class politicans used the fathers and mothers of these Girls at election time for vote/support, that’s it. Classsism in Barbados

  5. $40 million boost for education

    By Shawn Cumberbatch
    Government is planning a $40 million shake-up of the education system to be funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
    It will include major curriculum reform, upgrading the physical and digital infrastructure of at least ten primary schools, special needs students being integrated into regular classrooms, increased professional development for teachers and principals, and the creation of new digital and printed textbooks.
    There are also plans to adapt assessments and examinations for primary school students in Classes 1, 3 and 4, with Government having announced it will abolish the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination, also known as the Common Entrance or 11-Plus Exam.
    Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley told the recent St Philip Speaks town hall forum that she will be meeting with the Ministry of Education after Crop Over to discuss recommendations on education reform. This included the future of the Common Entrance.
    However, with her administration seeking to borrow $40 million from the IDB to implement the major changes, the bank shared details of some of the plans in a July 27, 2022 “project profile”. The IDB said the 17 pages of information were disclosed under its access to information policy.
    Curriculum reform
    Once the loan is secured, $9 million is to be spent on curriculum reform “to improve the quality of instruction by consolidating the existing curriculum and by integrating new growth areas such as computer science (coding/robotics), blue economy, skills for green jobs, and climate change and 21st century skills”.
    “The new curriculum will seek to improve overall learning and decrease learning gaps by gender. The revised curriculum can be taught in different modalities (online, in person, hybrid). Loan resources will be used to contract technical assistance to work with the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training on all aspects of the curriculum reform,” the project document outlined.
    The revised curriculum will benefit about 17
    842 students in 60 primary schools and 19 751 students in 21 secondary schools in select subject areas.
    Some $4 million will be used to “develop a curriculum framework guiding the curriculum review process, create an information and communications technology strategy for education, and adapt assessments and examinations for [students in] Classes 1, 3 and 4”.
    Another $1 million is to be allocated for professional development for teachers and principals. This will involve defining teaching standards for those using different modalities; preparing them to teach the new subject areas using student-centred approaches; the development of self-awareness and approaches for teaching boys; and training faculty at the Erdiston Teacher Training College to teach the new subject areas.
    Further plans include $4 million to “create new digital and printed textbooks, teacher guides toolkits, materials and equipment to successfully implement the new curriculum”.
    This was in addition to another $4 million to “promote a more inclusive education”.
    It will include “the development of an inclusive education policy, the design and testing of inclusive education in a select group of schools integrating special needs students into regular classrooms by providing the necessary support services to them; and the execution of a communication strategy.
    “This component will target at least two schools to pilot special needs education and two principals to promote the adoption of an inclusive education plan in their schools,” the education reform proposals stated.
    “Considering the limited information available about special needs students and schools, a study will be done to provide an assessment of this sub-sector, including an action plan for completing the inclusive education policy and design the initiative to integrate special needs students into regular schools.”
    Outside of curriculum issues, the authorities also plan to use $18 million of the IDB loan “to improve the quality of the physical and digital infrastructure by upgrading at least ten primary schools to meet sustainable and resilient best-practice standards, and building code requirements”.
    This included “cost-effective measures of energy and water efficiency, upgrading of connectivity in schools, and provision of devices
    to students and teachers”.
    Maintenance plans
    “Loan resources will be used to strengthen the technical capacity of Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training’s Education Technical Management Unit responsible for infrastructure projects, to ensure the mainstreaming of climate standards and to develop school maintenance plans,” the project information added.
    The proposed education sector transformation will be pursued under the Skills For The Future II: Digital Transformation For Inclusive And Quality Education Project to be executed by the ministry.
    Officials said while access to education in Barbados was high, learning remains a challenge, particularly for some boys; the curriculum was outdated; and classroom practices were teachercentred, authoritarian, traditional in terms of gender roles, and abstract.
    This was in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating existing inequalities and problems of the education system; a lack of an inclusive education strategy and intervention; outdated physical and digital infrastructure; and the absence of a cohesive sector management system.
    “In response to these challenges, the Ministry of Education . . . developed a strategic plan 2022-2027 and created the Education Reform Unit with the mandate to implement education reform,” the IDB team said.


  6. Rising above trauma of abuse
    By Maria Bradshaw

    At the age of 16 when most students were busy preparing for exams, Pierre Cooke found himself embroiled in a major court battle, as he fought to be emancipated from a family member who had been his primary caretaker.
    After suffering in silence from years of physical, emotional and verbal abuse starting from the age of 11, Pierre found the courage to confide in an adult and this ironically happened when the one thing which was his escape from the abuse – his education- was being threatened.
    Six years after that traumatising ordeal which resulted in ongoing therapy and a total separation from his abuser, the young man continues to use education to his advantage.
    Despite the legal troubles and setbacks, he has stood strong and confident and is now graduating from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, with first class honours in law.
    In an interview with the Sunday Sun, Pierre said that court experience, coupled with encouragement, mentorship and financial assistance from child rights defender, attorney and former magistrate Faith Marshall-Harris, propelled him into the legal arena.
    Good debator
    “Everyone told me because you speak well or you do a lot of debating or you argue, you should be a lawyer, so that is how it started out. It developed beyond that when I started to interact with the law around the age of 16, which was the beginning of my court situation. It was then that I actually got the first experience of seeing how the law can protect people,” he said.
    “So seeing advocates like Mrs Marshall-Harris step up and say there are laws against this treatment – going into court and speaking in front of the judge; submitting affidavits to share my experience and go through all the processes around how we can legally protect Pierre, for me that was when I saw that although I was in a very vulnerable position and I thought I had no protection, the law was there to support me.”
    He admitted, however, that there were times throughout the proceedings, during which he was made a ward of the state, he felt almost as if protection from the courts as well as the Child Care Board was eluding him.
    The former student of the Alleyne School made headline news on March 7, 2016, albeit anonymously, since he was still a minor, when a group of church members from the Grazettes Seventh-Day Adventist Church, came to the Nation newspaper to express concern that Pierre, one of their members and an ardent lay preacher, had been taken to the Psychiatric Hospital at the request of the family member,
    after he had reached out for help and reported his abuse.
    Recalling that tumultuous period, Pierre, who was head boy at the Alleyne School at the time, said it all happened when the family member threatened to send him back to Guyana, where he was born, and so prevent him from sitting his CXC exams.
    Pierre, who came to Barbados at the age of 11 to live with the family member after his grandparents who raised him emigrated to Canada, said he basically walked into an extremely abusive home.
    “There was physical, emotional, verbal and psychological abuse,” he revealed, as he spoke about situations of neglect, withholding food and being locked out of the home. While he and his sibling were at home, they were not allowed to open the windows and all the doors were locked.
    He said he was often badly beaten and on one occasion all along the main street in front of his home and in front of neighbours, to the extent that police were called. But in the end, he added, they too became convinced by the family member that he was a bad boy and deserved this treatment and nothing was amiss.
    He was also forbidden from speaking to neighbours, could not go outside and play like other boys his age, but was subjected to every form of housework.
    He recalled on one occasion speaking to a church member about the abuse who in turn contacted the family member. This, he said, ended in disastrous consequences and he never confided in anyone again.
    That was until that day when the threat of him not doing CXCs loomed large.
    “Alleyne School for me was my getaway in many ways. I flourished at school. I always came first in class and I was always on the principal’s honour roll. I didn’t want to take what was happening at home to school. It was only at that point when I was told that I was not doing CXCs that I said to myself, ‘I can’t have this’.”
    Despondent and afraid, Pierre went to school and broke down in tears, spilling everything to the guidance counsellor.
    Reported matter
    She in turn reported the matter to the principal and the Ministry of Education where she got the permission to do a “manager reporting” and that was when she sought out the services of Marshall-Harris.
    However, while Pierre started to feel as if he would finally be rescued, he said his interaction with the Child Care Board left him in more despair. He added the family member convinced that department he was lying and that there was no abuse, that it was all in his head and that he was in need of psychiatric treatment, since at that time he had expressed suicidal ideation.
    Pierre was shocked when he was whisked off to the Black Rock, St Michael institution by the family member and an officer of the Child Care Board, but the concerned church members publicised the situation and he was released after spending a weekend among adult male inmates and not allowed any visitors at the instruction of the same family member.
    His grandparents who lived in Canada tried to have him relocated there, but despite the petitioning of his attorneys (Marshall-Harris and Nailah Robinson, both of whom represented him pro bono), the court was not moved to let him go abroad. This meant he had to be supported in Barbados financially and because he was a minor in a situation of migration, he could not access free education.
    That started his long legal walk to freedom.
    For an entire year after successfully completing CXCs despite the trauma he was experiencing, he was now in limbo. At this point Marshall-Harris took him into her law firm so he could have some independent means. Thereafter, she, along with others she inspired to assist, funded his two years at the Barbados Community College where he studied law and international relations, emerging with an associate degree. He admitted that it was while working with Marshall-Harris that he learnt to manage finances and save towards his education.
    Pierre also credits his foster parents George and Aleta Maynard who sheltered and supported him for those two years; his paternal aunt and grandparents, church members as well as teachers and the principal of the Alleyne School for seeing him through that tumultuous time.
    “They say it takes a village to raise a child. I am a product of the village. I am a prime example of that. There were several village members who helped to support my development,” he fondly recalled.
    He is now depending on that same village to see him through to Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad to pursue his legal certificate
    since he is well aware that it will be an expensive undertaking.
    With the legal experience that rocked his world at a time when he felt helpless and vulnerable, Pierre has now found himself catapulted into a life of service.
    At present he is the Prime Minister of the Barbados National Youth Parliament. He is also involved with the Healthy Caribbean Coalition and was president of the Law Society during his final year.
    While Pierre has never spoken publicly about his experience and admitted that very few of his friends
    know what he went through, he intends to use his legal knowledge to fight for the rights and protection of vulnerable people, particularly children.
    “In every element of law there is the sphere of rights and protection. I was driven throughout the law programme by this sense of urgency to represent – a sense that I needed to be an advocate, to find a way to represent marginalised groups, to find a way to support people who have no support system. Some of the work I am most excited about is children’s rights. I want to be able to help more persons understand that they have rights and they have to be protected.”

    Source: Nation

  7. I wish the young man much success in his endeavours. An admirable aspiration to help those who are suffering what he himself suffered. He can feel their pain and therefore he will fight harder.

  8. “They say it takes a village to raise a child. I am a product of the village. I am a prime example of that. There were several village members who helped to support my development,”

    Good work on the part of lawyers should also be recognized and appreciated. 👍 Marshall-Harris and Nailah Robinson represented him pro bono👍 thus launching him on this incredible path.

  9. My apologies.
    It appears that I missed the report that “Abrahams” promised to us.
    Needless to say, I will search for it and report back to you when I locate it.
    I am somewhat disappointed that the blogmaster did not see it fit to publish the report or notify us of its delivery.

    Searching, will get back to you when I find it.

  10. Perhaps, I should upfdate you on my search
    Day 1.
    Unable to find the report but found this
    April 1, 2022
    One hundred people from 22 countries officially became Barbadians on Thursday and Minister of Home Affairs and Information Wilfred Abrahams says it will keep the island punching above its weight.

    ***** Perhaps Abrahams was busy with other matters.
    There is some good news here. *80,000 – 100 = 80,000. I am not panicking on the migration issue.

    Extensive review of past articles in BT and elsewhere (on this matter) mad me wonder if Wilfred Abrahams is a real person or a BU pseudonym. We will alter our search words to first confirm his existence.

    We will provide a Day 2 update. “Does Wilfred Abrahams exist and was a report promised?

  11. Day 2
    (Before you wonder how many hours are in my day, it could be possible that I process information so quickly that a thousand years are like a day to me).

    𝐎𝐮𝐫 𝐞𝐱𝐡𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨 𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐬 𝐖𝐢𝐥𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐀𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐬.

    We believe that this excerpt
    [In April, Minister of Home Affairs and Information Wilfred Abrahams declared that there was no mistreatment or abuse of wards at the GIS and any suggestion of such was “completely baseless”. He made the statement following reports of wards attempting to escape.]
    from this article

    was a fabrication and an attempt to smear the good name of BU pseudo-blogger Wilfred Abrahams.

    Because of this strange turn of events we now investigate the original story. We will provide a Day 3 update on two stories.
    “Did it happen?” and
    “Is WIA (Women Insurrectionists and Armed) Network a terrorist organization?”

    We have the exclusive sources. Sources not available to the general public. That is why you will hear it here first.
    Subscriptions/Donations are accepted

    The man is an idiot with nuff time on his hands.

  12. @ TheOGazerts,

    𝐖𝐢𝐥𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐀𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐬.should be a very busy man.

    He is probably working at home a lot.

  13. Emergency update
    My team of lawyers has asked me to proceed cautiously as there was a WA in the 2022 elections.

    Needless to say we are investigating this sudden turn or events and we are wondering if he is the often heard of elected representative from the Diaspora.

    We note the similarity of WA and WiA and are investigating if one is a pseudonym for the other.

    This is a story with so many twists and turns that (even with my super fast) processing speed I am unable to keep up.

    My Lawyer asked me to add this bit
    WA – Water Authority
    WA Washington (state; US postal abbreviation)
    WA WhatsApp (messaging)
    WA What
    WA Western Australia
    WA Walk Around (boat style)
    WA Wenatchee
    WA Namibia (I did not make that up. Too many leads to follow. Will investigate later)
    WiA Tanzania. Made up. If WA could stand for Namibia, then WiA could stand for Tanzania

  14. @Hants,
    “The man is a idiot with nuff time on his hands” was me referring to myself.

    BTW: You have rubbished my exhaustive and conclusive research.
    Is that the guy who was elected to represent the Diaspora?
    Glad that one person knew of him.
    May have to put you on the review committee or research team.

  15. TheOGazertsAugust 28, 2022 9:45 AM

    My apologies.
    It appears that I missed the report that “Abrahams” promised to us.
    Needless to say, I will search for it and report back to you when I locate it.
    I am somewhat disappointed that the blogmaster did not see it fit to publish the report or notify us of its delivery.

    Searching, will get back to you when I find it.

  16. So there was a report back in April which the Minister endorsed confirming that there was no evidence of wrongdoing at the State run facility for girls.

    Fast forward to today and a new report is forthcoming

    which according to BT

    “Several members of staff who are employed by the GIS lack the academic qualifications and the expertise required to cater to the educational, vocational, physical, psychiatric, and psychological environment of troubled youth. The management, past and present, failed to put the appropriate mechanisms in place to ensure that the staff received the proper training to effectively implement the reform measures,” Williams said

    And this

    ’The chairman said proper disciplinary protocols were also needed at the GIS, and it was recommended that corporal punishment be abolished at the institution”

    What does corporal punishment of teen-age girls involve? Who administers this corporal punishment?

    In yesterday’s evening news on CBC I heard the Minister say that new legislation is coming before the House before the end of the year, he didn’t say anything about his previous statements backing his handpicked Board or blaming the Press for “blowing things out of proportion”

  17. This affair is an embarrassment how it is being handled.
    Check your archives and review Bushie’s admonition about this minister’s management acumen.

    • Litany of woes

      Inquiry into GIS finds institution ‘in over its head’
      UNQUALIFIED STAFF, wards with mental health and social issues, unsuitable accommodations and a general breakdown in discipline.
      These were among the critical findings in the just publicly released report of the Departmental Inquiry into the Government Industrial School (GIS).
      The five-member committee, headed by former Deputy Commissioner of Police Oral Williams, went into great detail yesterday about the worrisome realities of the juvenile detention facility, which
      was the subject of much public debate amid several abuse claims in the press.
      The inquiry conducted 109 interviews with 89 people and visited the plant seven times.
      Delivering the findings during a press conference yesterday at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Williams said that the panel also recommended the removal of the girls from the plant at Barrow’s, St Lucy, and that the facility did not adhere to internationally accepted guidelines. He also disclosed that the panel discovered a “few” incidents of staff using corporal punishment.
      However, he pointed out that some charges “felt themselves untouchable”, with some assaulting staff.
      The report also dispelled claims that residents were being denied contact with parents, as it was discovered that staff often placed calls to parents at the request of the child, only to have some parents refuse to take the call.
      “The Government Industrial School was not in full compliance with the United Nation’s rules in relation to juveniles being held at the facility. The inquiry panel recognised that the ministry sought the assistance of a child justice consultant and UNICEF to assist in these areas. Lucy Dawes prepared a manual for use at the Government Industrial School and if it had been followed, it would have significantly improved the policies and the practices of the Government Industrial School.
      “Even though the administration tried to introduce some of the recommendations in the Dawes manual, very few of them had been successfully implemented,” Williams said.
      He added: “The warfare among staff and the breakdown in discipline among the residents rendered the House Mistress at Barrow’s impotent to effectively manage that institution. The panel recommends than an audit be carried out on the staff to determine which are suitable to work in a reform institution.”
      The report showed that the educational needs of the residents were not being met, noting that teaching should take into account the mixed ability of charges.
      Weighing in on the concerns surrounding the qualification of staff, committee member Coreen Kennedy-Taitt said that there needs to be an audit of those working at the plant, explaining that a number of them
      did not have the education and expertise required to meet the “educational, vocational, physical and psychological requirement of troubled youth”.
      “One of the things we recommended was that there be a staff audit, that every staff member be interviewed to see whether or not that staff member can fit into the new Government Industrial School. If that person is not able to be fitted into the new school, then that person should be transferred and someone else who is a better fit should be employed,” Kennedy-Taitt said.
      She continued: “There should be rigorous staff recruitment protocols in place. From our interviews we discovered that these persons were there for a very long time, some more than 20 years, and in those days we did not have people with the kinds of qualifications that we have now. So you had people with two O’levels and that sort of thing employed in positions.”
      Williams said that with a shift in focus from punitive to reform, the institution, including the physical structure, was not fit for purpose.
      The former lawman called
      for a repeal of the current juvenile justice legislation, describing it as outdated. Additionally, it was recommended that the name of the school be changed to reflect the new reformative focus of the institution and for cameras to be installed in non-private spaces.
      Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams said the Cabinet had adopted the recommendations of the panel. He also revealed that long-awaited child justice legislation as well as child protection legislation will be coming “in short order” and had been drafted for a while.
      “We did not seek to push the child justice legislation because that deals with the children once they come into the system and it was thought by this Government that it would be sending the wrong message, that we are dealing only with the judicial aspect of it without dealing with the protection aspect. I am pleased to tell you that having spoken to Minister [Kirk] Humphrey two weeks ago, he has received the draft Child Protection Legislation,” Abrahams said. (CLM)

      Source: Nation

    • Some findings ‘with police’

      MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS Wilfred Abrahams is assuring Barbadians that the recently concluded inquiry into the Government Industrial School (GIS) did not gloss over any of the claims of abuse highlighted in the media earlier this year.
      Speaking at a press conference at the Ministry of Home Affairs yesterday, where the findings of the report were made public, Abrahams said some of the more serious findings were turned over to the police. He disclosed that some of the matters were already in the domain of the courts.
      “When I say that the panel investigated everything, they investigated everything that was in front of [them], they investigated everything. They have made some recommendations to us. They have identified some issues that I cannot speak to here because there are proceedings currently in play at the courts, so I can’t say anything that would prejudice or compromise the proceedings.
      “Some concerns have been raised by the panel and some definite recommendations that have been raised by the panel that have
      serious consequences attached to them,” said Abrahams, noting that a copy of the report was made available to the Commissioner of Police.
      Among the recommendations of the panel, which was led by former Deputy Commissioner of Police Oral Williams, was for staff members accused of having sex with wards to be suspended pending the outcome of a trial.
      The panel further recommended that such persons should not be allowed to return to the job if they were to escape on a technicality.
      “The chair of the panel met with the Solicitor General’s office, and we had a discussion with the lawyer who is dealing with some of the matters, and she implored the chair that certain things may compromise proceedings before the court,” Abrahams said.
      “I can tell you that everything that was raised by the press was investigated by the panel. In some cases people did not come forward with the evidence. Even when the evidence was not there, the panel made recommendations that were in the best interest of the children, and we will be acting on those recommendations.
      “I have given you the lines and you can read between them – all allegations were raised and investigated.”

      Source: Nation

  18. Just a taste of what is to come
    From BT
    “Several members of staff who are employed by the GIS lack the academic qualifications and the expertise required to cater to the educational, vocational, physical, psychiatric, and psychological environment of troubled youth.”

    From me
    This is expected.
    Academic qualifications and expertise are not required when positions are filled by cronyism, nepotism or political patronage.

  19. Reductio ad absurdum
    “What does corporal punishment of teen-age girls involve? Who administers this corporal punishment?”

    We already have 20 applicants for this part of the job. Experience in BDSM though preferred is not required.

    The whole system is sick.

  20. You cannot continue to use systems that were developed for harsher and more cruel times. The so

    We transitioned from slavery to a free society, but some institutions are lagging behind. … the result – a litany of ills
    The warfare among staff
    breakdown in discipline
    House Mistress at Barrow’s impotent to effectively manage the institution
    educational needs of the residents were not being met
    Concerns on qualification of staff,
    staff did not have the education and expertise required to meet the “educational, vocational, physical and psychological requirement of troubled youth”.

  21. Wrong, wrong, wrong …

    ” From our interviews we discovered that these persons were there for a very long time, some more than 20 years, and in those days we did not have people with the kinds of qualifications that we have now. So you had people with two O’levels and that sort of thing employed in positions.”

    This problem will not be solved by hiring folks with more O’levels. What is perplexing and distressing at the same time, is that people with 20 years or more on the job did not develop compassion for the young ‘residents.

    I am fearful that making changes without eradicating the ingrained ‘treatment of a slave’ will be nothing more than a name change.

  22. Last/Last
    Check your archives and review Bushie’s admonition about this minister’s management acumen.
    With this report, the minister has moved into Grade C territory. It was long overdue but there is enough here to convince me that it was a genuine effort.
    Learning on the job and coming up to speed

  23. It might appear this ‘deck hand’ is headed ‘below’ to join a former Minister of the same Portfolio. Or seeing the writing, will form the Cold Centre, and use his International Management Consulting skills to advise the taxpayers.

  24. I find it necessary to add a paragraph.

    Switching parties is not always an evil and (when it is) it could also be a necessary evil.

    If you were a politician and you became more enlightened or more in-tune with the suffering of your fellow citizens, then it would be difficult to ignore this new knowledge. Action is required; and such an action may include a switch of a party.

    Acknowledging and correcting what is wrong should be a part of the growth of all of us.

    Ronnie O will not go along
    When he knows the path is wrong.

    Ronnie O
    The way to go

  25. One of the problems confronting Barbados is that we uphold the status quo, even when it is obvious that change is needed. We lack the courage to make the change.

    We have detailed rules and processes to follow, but at the end of the day we often fail to adhere to them. ‘Implementation deficit’ is the term we use to describe our lack of adherence. Perhaps, we are seeing a lack of courage to make the changes.

    Ronnie O ‘the man with the courage to embrace changes’.

  26. Let us not throw out the baby with the bath water.
    Let us not cut off our noses to spite our faces.

    Abrahams was failing badly, but this report shows that he is learning on the job.

    To get a new man may mean a start all over again. Keep Abrahams

  27. Related
    From BT
    “I am not saying it is right, it is what it is, but I am just telling you to offer that as a response, it is not to fully understand the dynamics of the situation. And my responsibility as the minister responsible for people remains to protect all people. Is it going to be a popular position? Probably not, but it is mine,”

    👍 Humphrey has it right 👍
    Was surprised that he had the courage to take such a strong stance

    What an unlikely find
    A BLP politician with a spine.
    (Again. I am not a B)

  28. I’ll be honest with you. I have serious issues with some lines of our national anthem as they bear no relation to our actual history

    “Our brave forefathers sowed the seed”
    **** I want someone to tell me who were these brave forefathers. This statement seem to ignore the fact that our country was divided into two groups, slabves and their masters. Which group is considered as our forefathers>

    “That binds our hearts from coast to coast”
    *** This is a small point, but one would think that we were a large country. Coast to coast is a stone throw. Thinking above our size.

    “These fields and hills beyond recall
    Are now our very own”
    *** Is this true? Are they really beyond recall? Thinking above our size.
    Did the pattern of land ownership change? Did they become our own?

    The Lord has been the people’s guide
    For past three hundred years.
    *** Is this true? Was he with us during the dark period of slavery?

    It is a sound good, feel good anthem, but it departs from our actual history.

  29. From BT
    “he judicial officer also ruled on claims that the girls were subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment as a result of mandatory vaginal examinations, taunting and psychological abuse by staff which included their intimate details being used against them; solitary confinement and deprivation of meals; physical and sexual abuse; inadequate medical and psychological care and inadequate educational instruction.

    The court ruled in favour of the State that there were no mandatory vaginal examinations of the girls while in care at the institution based on the evidence presented and the information could have been possibly deduced had the attorney for the claimant cross-examined the witnesses.”

    Two points:
    (1) On this GIS matter, I am glad the judge had enough backbone to come off of the fence and award the young ladies compensation for breaches of their constitutional rights. They are still persons of decency in high places.

    (2) I do not know why, but I believe these young ladies were stopped (arrested) sequestered and searched by staff seeking sexual sensations and this should stop.

    Congratulations to the brave women of Barbados who fought for the rights of young and poor girls throughout the land.

  30. @ David
    Given the decision of the Court as referenced by TheO….
    What odds are you willing to take on the following…

    1 – Abrahams will resign as a matter of principle – having so misled everyone
    2 – Nothing will change, except that now when silly young girls ‘wander’ the police will wash their hands of the ‘affair’ and it now becomes fair game for the recruitment of ‘talent’ by those without scruples.
    3 – Abrahams will be promoted to ‘Senior Minister’ and placed in the PM office along with DooGood.
    4 – All of the above

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