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Teacher Walkout At Sc Mcpherson

A photo from social media said to be of graffiti at SC McPherson.

A photo from social media said to be of graffiti at SC McPherson.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

School mutiny

Teachers walk out after student’s death sparks week of chaos

A RUMOUR about the tragic death of a boy in Dairy Queen two weekends ago plunged the SC McPherson School into crisis last week, prompting teachers to walk out Friday and vow not to return until authorities get a handle on the conflict.

Robert Valcom Jr, 15, collapsed and died at Dairy Queen’s Southwest Plaza location on April 6.

According to Vernon Rodgers, Bahamas Union of Teachers’ area vice-president for New Providence, some students started a rumour that the boy died because a teacher denied him access to medication during an extracurricular Saturday class.

As the rumour spread, students began “threatening the teachers verbally, chanting profanity throughout the school, vandalising classrooms and stealing teachers’ personal items throughout the school,” he claimed.

“One teacher’s back was turned (last) week and the student came up behind and cut her hair. A next teacher, a bottle of water was thrown at her chest. Two outsiders came on the compound with a weapon looking for the teacher who they claim killed the student,” Mr Rodgers said.

Police have not verified claims of actual or attempted attacks against teachers.

Mr Rodgers said graffiti has been plastered on school walls and a number of students have skipped classes. Yesterday, the Democratic National Alliance released a statement calling for Education Minister Jeff Lloyd to intervene.

The mother of the dead boy, Wilna Joseph, said she has heard the rumour that her son was denied medication. But she rejects that claim – she said her son had no known health issues and didn’t take any medication. Instead, she said a teacher that hosted a Saturday class made an insensitive comment that upset the children and prompted their disaffection last week.

As news reports spread about the chaos at SC McPherson, Ms Joseph said she has had to suspend writing the obituary for her son to address the controversy.

SC McPherson has about 1,300 students and more than 60 teachers. Teachers left classrooms Friday morning, assembling in the staff room where they vowed not to return until normalcy resumes. By coincidence, students and teachers will have a week to cool off: classes will not resume until April 22 because of the Easter mid-term break this week.

Robert Valcom Sr, the dead boy’s father, said drama is the last thing he needs as he mourns his son.

“I’m sitting down every morning hoping this boy will knock on this door and say daddy let him in,” he said, “yet people here making chaos and making this what it isn’t and they ain’ feeling the pain that I am feeling.”

Comments

My2centz 1 week, 4 days ago

I completely agree with deceased’s father. The people causing the chaos are the ones who are not truly grieving and will forget him in a few months. I hope the troublemakers are identified, expelled and face legal consequences for their actions. They are almost adults and will be carrying this violent mentality into the real world...nobody needs to make excuses for them including the grieving mother. With their bias almost any comment made by the teacher not blaming herself would be “insensitive” and its no excuse.

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rawbahamian 1 week, 4 days ago

And here we are expecting intelligent behaviour from double D grade students who attend another chapter of Dunces 'R' us !!! Really !!!

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proudloudandfnm 1 week, 4 days ago

Where are these children's parents?????

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DDK 1 week, 4 days ago

I guess we can see the handwriting on the wall..........

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BMW 1 week, 3 days ago

Been there for the last thirty years yet we remain blind.

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bogart 1 week, 3 days ago

more than.....1,000 students.....more than...60 teachers...?.???.....roughly...????......1,000/60 = 16.....say 17 students per teacher.........isn't this a very good teaching situation...??????????.......is someting wrong ..???......

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ohdrap4 1 week, 3 days ago

to hire a full time teacher, the MOE requires 200 students for that teacher.

for core subjects the class sizes are at least 25 and often close to 30.

the problem is that students are out of control, they just do not obey teachers. Detention, demerits, do not work. Just as well teachers cannot use corporal punishment, if they could the students would beat the teacher or vandalize his car. The teacher cannot say anything, ad ministration will not support and, suddenly, contract not renewed.

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ashley14 1 week, 3 days ago

This is so sad. It’s going to take everyone to change this, from families to law enforcement. You have my prayers. Go home tomorrow, take care.

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John 1 week, 2 days ago

The school should have had a general assembly and/or grief counselling sessions to put to rest any rumours surrounding the student's death. But some children will use any excuse to demonstrate bad behaviour and shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. But at the same time, one has to be sensitive to the students and to the family who are truly grieving.

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stillwaters 1 week, 2 days ago

Most government school students walk around with a high sense of importance and entitlement ........as if they have actually achieved a whole lot already. All dressed and crisply ironed, nails and hair flawless, but.........are missing basic manners, cannot behave and actually learn in a classroom. I pity most of the teachers who have to deal with this accumulated mess everyday.

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 2 days ago

That description reflects most urban black Bahamians ..... dressed up, dumb and rude. What's new there?? .......... It's just that the spawn is getting worse.

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hrysippus 1 week, 1 day ago

hey Sleeprunner, " It's just that the spawn is getting worse.", you are funny, cynical, but funny.

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 2 days ago

There was a time when SC and CV were the gold standard public schools in Nassau ..... what is going on today????? ......... students attacking teachers, campus chaos, graffiti, bad PR????

Is this a symptom of the breakdown in out of control students/gangs, teacher classroom management, parental involvement, school admin effectiveness, no campus police, or poor DOE policies........ or all of the above????

Too much shuffling of personnel take place each year, thus breaking up good school admin teams as well. Maybe the Principal has too many plant & personnel challenges to cope.

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Chucky 1 week, 2 days ago

how about just simply about the breakdown of society.

its true, its systemic, and it need acknowledging if we are to have any hope of correcting the problem.

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bogart 1 week, 2 days ago

SEEMS ...........TOXIC SCHOOL CULTURE........SEEMS A NUMBER OF NOT UNDERSTOOD....DEFICIENT IMPUTS THROWN TOGETHER ....FOR EXPEDIENCY.........RESULTS NOT GELLING........DESPITE BLATENT SHORTCOMINGS......AN EXPECTING .......EXCELLENT SCHOOL CULTURE ....!!!!!!!!!!.......startin at da upper echelons not political will to make changes....doing same tings administration after administration....expecting different results....

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 2 days ago

AMEN & AMEN .......... Dame Ivy had a good plan, but that died with her re-posting.

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sealice 1 week, 1 day ago

Oh wow - so years and years of nothing for the children and you get this?? WTF did anyone expect? this is so much better then if we were still British too.....

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BONEFISH 1 week, 1 day ago

The chickens have come home to roost.These problems which are long-standing have been ignored by the public for years.Irresponsible parents who think the public school system on New Providence is a day -care center.Politicians who destroyed any sense of discipline through their interference,cronyism and plain dumb decisions. Incompetence throughout the entire system Sometimes I wonder why we became an independent country?

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EasternGate 1 week, 1 day ago

These animals need to be caged in some disciplinary institution. Spare me the excuse about the environment that produced them. The point is the majority of these rebels are beyond redemption.

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EasternGate 1 week, 1 day ago

The same communities where they hide their dope and stolen goods, and conceal their weapons, will be the same community with crocodile tears when they kill one another in the streets like dogs!

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 1 day ago

Yep ........ Not my good child

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