Not so fast Mr. Minister Abrahams!

Submitted by Women in Action –

21st September, 2022
Press Release

In acknowledging the presentation of the findings coming out of the departmental enquiry at the Government Industrial School (GIS), Women in Action Network (WiAN) is calling on the Minster to slow down and get it right or resign.

The report shared with the public was slathered with recommendations covering up the issues for which the Minister needs to hold persons accountable. The recommendations represent the standard operations for which we have been advocating so no applause is needed for the announcement of their intention to come up to the expected standard. It is overdue and expected. The Minister needs to get to the finer points of what has been the impact of having unqualified, untrained, uncaring square pegs in round holes supervising troubled girls over a number of years. He must be ready to take responsibility for the damages cause by the actions of the staff he promised to back and start talking compensation packages. Girls who have been psychologically tortured to the point of suicide and girls who were physically assaulted are now scarred!

If we take out the segment on the recommendations from the report we have been told very little about the findings. We are told the findings cannot be discussed because of a likelihood of matters going before the courts. So, should we expect charges to be laid? In one iteration we heard of “one or two cases of physical abuse”; is it one case or two cases? And then in another iteration mention was made of “a few cases”; how many cases of physical abuse were found? There were no cases of sexual misconduct? Have any staff members been implicated in these cases? Of the allegations investigated, how many were made by wards and how many by staff members? When will we know from the Commissioner of Police if any charges will be laid out of the evidence presented in the report? These are the questions the Minister needs to answer. Running to a new building, with new staff and an operations manual does not make these questions go away.

Having admitted that the Ministry failed to ensure that rehabilitative care was delivered by qualified and trained personnel, compensation is due to the wards whom the government imprisoned and neglected. The damage caused can add to the instability of society over the lifetimes of traumatised girls-turned-women, and the resources the government would have to put out in the future to stabilize such a person could be better paid now at this point of the girls receiving the rehabilitative care that they need. The allegations of abuse need to be taken in the context of how unqualified and untrained staff would deal with teenage girls who
have been already living with a range of issues.

There are still critical areas to be addressed: is it the advice of the experts to house the girls in the facility at Dodds that currently houses the boys? Housing girls and boys with raging adolescent hormones in the same facility is a recipe for disaster. Whether it is girls in need of care or girls with a criminal leaning, these girls need not be living in the same space as teenage boys at a time when they are already easily distracted. Decisions like these leave us to wonder if the Minister understands and cares about how these young people function.

What are the implications of dealing with vulnerable children who are found astray from their homes ‘wandering’? Removing the wandering law does not address the problem of children not being guided, supervised and cared for in the home; it prevents them from being incarcerated because of their parents’ shortcomings. When such children are found on the streets where will these children be taken? Who will deliver the care needed to them? Such children need
to be directed to a facility where they can be cared for and uplifted. WiAN is unwavering in its call for the removal of the entire Advisory Board who so ably conducted an internal investigation last year that found there was no
wrong doing at the institution. Who is correct? The Board findings or the Minister’s findings? The Chairman and her Board are guilty of neglect, incompetence and failing to give advice for the protection of the wards of GIS. To even suggest that a care institution for girls be renamed “Secure Residential Facility” indicates a lack of focus on what matters.

Minister Wilfred Abrahams, the Board, the entire staff of GIS and the Permanent Secretary need to resign to bring this era of the Government Industrial School to an end.

23 comments

  • The minister has been made to look like a fool. He needs to be removed from his post.

    I am in agreement that we need to clean up the damage that was done to these girls.

    I am also concerned about housing the boys and girls together. I am not familiar with the layout of the buildings but I am familiar with raging hormones.

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  • Our honourable minister has handled the situation in an exemplary manner. All the problems for which others were responsible are now under control.

    Thank you, honourable minister!

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  • Abrahams, with consensus from GIS chairman Reverend Dr Lucille Baird, acting principal Ronald Jackman, and clinical psychologist Christa Soleyn, said there was no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of employees or management.
    +++++++
    It’s a short time from April to September and from a clean bill of health from the GIS Chair to a damning report from the Oral Williams led investigative team. The Minister and the Board should be shown the door, the public has lost confidence in their ability to perform their jobs effectively.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2022/04/15/investigations-find-no-evidence-of-abuse-at-gis/

    Like

  • These ministers are not being held accountable for anything.
    A few days ago , the minister of Agriculture , went on Brasstacks and gave the impression that the sugar industry was to be privatized. Within a few days almost everything he said was disputed by the sugar producers and the Union representing the workers that the minister said publicly would be involved.
    The sugar producers said the process will take years but the minister gave the impression it was almost a done deal.
    Peace.

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  • I think Minister Abrahams has earned promotion to Senior Minister. Overseeing the Prisons, Industrial Schools and the Post Office is enough, given this Ministry is also home to two key initiatives, Immigration and Emergency Management. And with increasing drug busts, one wonders if concerns with Substance Abuse cannot be far away? And I haven’t touched on either the CBC or the GIS.
    In fact, given production elsewhere, this Ministry may require two junior Ministers, to function effectively.

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  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    “The sugar producers said the process will take years but the minister gave the impression it was almost a done deal.”

    have to keep AN EYE ON ALL OF THEM…they are LIARS and FRAUDS and have no problem employing sleight of hand.

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  • When someone has a Damascene moment, you do not fire them.

    Perhaps the minister was misled (initially), but the report now puts the ball in his court. Only a fool would continue as if there was (is) nothing wrong and the minister is no fool.

    Why bring in a new person, who will face the same problems that the minister has, who may have to hit the ground running and will take sometime to understand or come up to speed with the issues?

    At this moment, the minister is the man for the job.

    I know that some of you think I am a BLPite. The above dies not help, but that is not the case.

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  • @William

    Minister Weir clearly stated that the model for transitioning to private is almost finished and this will now have ti be socialized with the unions and other stakeholders. Get it right.

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  • @ David
    I know what I heard.
    Nobody who listened to that presentation would have imagined that it was “years off” as stated by the sugar producers.
    He definitely stated the workers will be major players. Then their Union said they were not consulted.
    No further comment from me on this.
    Carry on smartly.
    Peace.

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  • Yes William the recording is there for those who want to listen with comprehension.

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    “He definitely stated the workers will be major players. ”

    this comment made months ago is what prompted my Kush article to let these liars who would give false promises to get slave labor, rob these people their labor, salaries and benefits as they have done FOR DECADES…..know that THEY ARE BEING WATCHED…

    it was very clear then as it is now THAT ALL OF THEM ARE LYING…

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  • I have to find that link. But let me deal with what is written here.

    An almost finished model can take years to finish or it may never finish. Then there can be years between finishing and implementation.

    There may be no contradiction in the statements Given our implementation deficit, it may be the onlookers who are getting it wrong.

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  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    William….those with SHORT MEMORIES are largely responsible for the problems on the island….because they politicians and all the crooks know they have short memories all they gotta do is WAIT THEM OUT and use it to their advantage……case in point:

    these liars who would give false promises to get slave labor, rob these people their labor, salaries and benefits as they have done FOR DECADES…including the PENSIONS of those Afrikans who work on those cursed plantations…

    ..the last group are still waiting for their pensions over 10 YEARS NOW…..while still armed with a court judgement for interim payments…YEARS NOW….the beasts are waiting for them to die so they won’t have to pay them a dime…

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  • ‘I know that some of you think I am a BLPite.’
    Your lawsoneque humour was amusing.
    Knowing him to be one of the weaker Ministers, keep here for as long as possible. The opposition need all the help they can get.
    You go TheO!!!

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    William….the population HAVE TO find ways to STOP spending their money with these greedy snakes…..look at the weak leadership begging the frauds to hold up their end of the bargain…..over and over the same thing…….weak government claim some kinda victory, claim their partners are on board and then have to beg them to hold up their end…

    if the majority population STOP SPENDING with them, they have to shut shop and leave the island.

    “A Government minister has asserted that despite the administration’s compact with the private sector that was aimed at reducing the high cost of living, the measure has not produced the expected relief since some companies have refused to hold up their end of the bargain.

    Minister of Elder Affairs and People Empowerment Kirk Humphrey on Wednesday appealed to the guilty parties to do the right thing.

    “I’ve seen in some of the bigger stores, prices that have not reflected the commitment that they made to the Government. I’ve seen it in smaller places as well.

    “I am making a plea for the sake of the country for people to reduce that profit margin so that the poor, the needy, the vulnerable, the elderly, the disabled, and the disenfranchised could eat. I am very concerned and very serious about it,” he told the media following a presentation of food supplies to his ministry and the Kiwanis Club of Barbados North by Carigro and Multinational Wholesalers, at the company’s headquarters in Six Roads, St Philip.”

    Like

  • @ WURA
    Well if a cabinet member says the thing ain’t working, that about sums it up.
    Happens sometimes; can’t forget how Estwick used to lick up Sinckler’s policies.
    The Duopoly never disappoints .
    Guess the apologists will have a defense for this as well.
    Peace

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    they can defend if they want to look the fool…….but no one is buying any of it except the usual suspects….and ya done know that they don’t count…

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    William…..keep ya ears close to the ground regarding some super yacht tonnage carrying marina allegedly owned by the radical scammers and for which people claim their land in the St. Lawrence area is being seized..

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    wuhloss….do yall remember the vaccine bullies….the OVERLY ignorant….well there is a whole article in the local daily about them…..

    this one below carried on like the yardfowl it is and then not too long after reportedly caught Covid and nearly died, don’t even know if she did cause no one ever heard that big foolish mouth again….

    …then ya had the head dummy telling grown people with a straight face. “if ya die of Covid and vaccinated we can help ya, but if ya die unvaccinated we can’t.”

    the IGNORANCE was living and breathing…

    “Of these, the most dramatic lead to a viral video with a vaccinated individual spouting negativity towards the unvaccinated at the meeting at Deighton Griffith. It was there that a woman issued a stern warning to all who were unvaccinated not to come anywhere near her. And that was the beginning of the end.

    Her words in part: “If wunna ain’t vaccinated, don’t come and talk to me because obviously, if wunna got Delta, I gine catch it. I gine fight it but wunna gine dead. . . Stop the ignorance, stop it! and let us be”

    Like

  • Really!!!

    “wuhloss….do yall remember the vaccine bullies….the OVERLY ignorant….well there is a whole article in the local daily about them…..”

    Xxx

    Where’s John A K A Aquaman-Namor ?

    Like

  • Our government is finally coming down on the side of reason. The mask terror and harassment of incoming tourists has come to an end. Thank you, Supreme Leader!

    Now nothing stands in the way of a recovery of the tourism industry and the stabilization of the state’s finances.

    The freed-up capacity of the Corona quarantine was to be used to “intern” local quacks who had tried to sabotage tourism over the past two years.

    Like

  • Although the mask mandate is no longer in place, our Aboriginal people still wear masks almost universally in the supermarket and outdoors.

    Understandable, since the vaccination rate on our island is so low …

    Like

  • DLP supports call for removal of Minister

    THE DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY is throwing its support behind those who are calling for the removal of the minister responsible for the Government Industrial School in light of the investigation into treatment of wards at the institution.
    The institution has been the focus of much public debate, heightened recently with legal action being taken to have some of the wards removed.
    “We have to agree with these organisations who are calling for the sacking of the minister. Under our system he is responsible and should hold full responsibility for the failing of our young women in this country,” said former Christ Church East Central Democratic Labour Party candidate Rasheed Belgrave during his party’s public meeting on Sunday night.
    Belgrave also wants the report of the Government Industrial School – the contents of which were recently made public by
    Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams – published after the investigation into the treatment of its wards.
    In an address which expressed concern about gun crime in Barbados, Belgrave also called for a return to community policing, where those “who can socialise with the community will try to resolve the issue before it reaches the boiling point”.
    He also said people who were behind the shootings should not be seen as “trigger-happy young men but [one must] look at the push factors. . . . It’s [crime] not even happening at night anymore. Something had to happen that caused them [to react] . . . . We must empower our youth”.
    Belgrave also noted that “if you think you live in the heights and terraces and ‘it doesn’t affect me’, you’re dead wrong because it is a societal issue and the Government is shifting the blame on a small sector . . . the bad boys killing bad boys. But if that
    is your attitude towards the problem, then get out of the way, Government . . . . Let the people deal with the issue.”
    “We are losing our young people and young men and the [response] towards this ‘outta control’ epidemic is the Attorney General’s attitude – that the gangsters are killing gangsters,” Belgrave said.


    Source: Nation

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