Father's fury as son comes home from school 'black and blue'

By Ava Turnquest

Tribune Chief Reporter


A FATHER’s outrage over the beating of a seventh grade student by a senior official at St Augustine’s College has reignited viral debate over the use of corporal punishment in schools.

The private Catholic school is investigating the incident, and The Tribune was told the matter is also being investigated by the police.

Ian Mills took to Facebook to share a photo of his son’s bruised buttocks on Tuesday evening, alleging that his child was beaten that day for “clowning and talking in class”.

The picture of a large raised purple bruise across the child’s bottom has been deleted but the post had attracted more than 400 comments, 144 likes, and 173 shares by midday yesterday.

“So I’m trying my hardest to keep my cool,” Mr Mills wrote, “this is how my son 7th grader at SAC came home just now. Spoke to the principal and she asked me what I wanted her to say to the dean! 

“Asked me to come into school in the morning. I already said 15 prayers for the Lord to please take this anger out of me cause I know me. MY children.” 

The post continued: “This what he got for clowning and talking in class. I don’t even beat my children! And this how he’s coming home black and blue. I told them I’m going to put it on Facebook. This is crazy, I told him he was joking when he told me he got beating and was falling on the ground hoping that he would stop beating him.”

Parents of the seventh grader met with school officials yesterday morning, and SAC has declined comment at this time.

The Bahamas Catholic Board of Education does not have any regulatory oversight of SAC as the school has its own private board.

Yesterday, Catholic Archbishop Patrick Pinder declined comment on the matter as it was under active investigation by the school and police.

The use of corporal punishment in public schools has been discouraged in recent years, with Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd stating that children should only be beaten in schools if all other options have been exhausted, and in the most egregious of circumstances.

Yesterday, Mr Lloyd said he had not been fully briefed on the incident at SAC and reserved comment on the matter.

However, he reiterated the ministry’s position on corporal punishment, noting the public tension over whether the practice should be discontinued.

“There is a debate where those who feel that corporal punishment should be eliminated, there are those who believe that corporal punishment should remain as at least some possible sanction in the hand of a mother, teacher, or administrator. That debate obviously will continue, the government will have a final position sometime after proper vetting of the discussion with relevant stakeholders. 

“However, there is a very clear rule in the government’s manual with regard to corporal punishment,” Mr Lloyd said, “it is administered as a last resort and it is only administered by an administrator in the presence of another administrator. 

“So this issue of corporal punishment being willy-nilly applied is something that is not sanctioned by the government, and it is repudiated at every instance, anywhere that it occurs. Our children are not to be abused, that is not the intention, that is not going to be accepted and any incident of abuse whether it’s physical, moral, intellectual, or otherwise will be strictly met with the most vigorous of resistance by this minister and the ministry.”

Mr Mills’ post invoked a wide range of responses, with some expressing shock and disgust, others advocating for violent retaliation, and SAC alum coming to the defence of the senior official and the instrument used to administer punishment, named “black beauty”.

FB user Glenisha Albury wrote: ‘I know everyone is upset with SAC…but (senior official) really and truly uses corporal punishment as last resort. He talks several times to students about their behaviour before he gets to that level. Everyone is threatening his life when (the official) has saved more lives than your favs (sic).”

Another user Rayne Heastie wrote: “I didn’t know there were parents that sent their kids to SAC without knowing that they would be beaten with ‘black beauty’ if they misbehaved. I remember when (the official) beat my * in grade eight in front of the whole class. I didn’t tell Mummy about that until long after I graduated.”

Tio Panza wrote: “Y’all in here giving yinna testimony about y’all kids. No one knows what these kids be like in school. We acted out as kids an’ got cut for it. If you don’t want your child spanked, home school them. Or put them in an institution that does not believe in it. None of y’all talking bout moving y’all kids that got cut , so either shut it up or fix ya situation (sic).”

Another user Renea Mariea Joseph-Deveaux wrote: “I will never understand why people feel that beating a child to the point where they can’t sit down is discipline, it’s damn abuse, pure and simple. . .Not because our parents did it means it’s right. It’s still abuse.”


The_Oracle 4 years, 4 months ago

Charge the offending individual with assault of a minor. Problem solved. If one has to resort to violence to correct misbehavior, the battle is already lost. Particularly at 7th grade level.


sheeprunner12 4 years, 4 months ago

Firstly ................. Take the clauses out of the Penal Code and Education Act. Then shout and holler about it is "abuse".


TalRussell 4 years, 4 months ago

Ma comrades, these are serious allegations waste not a second to march someone's ass nearest polceman's station 'child abuse' to suggest all needed is a call reignited viral debate over the use of corporal punishment in schools................. in name Joseph, the father Jesus - why aren't thousands parents not out on streets demonstrating in disgust against the most egregious of education circumstances minister to remain sleeping on job over what appears be obvious serial cases Imperialism shirts government sanctioned corporal punished taking place under their governing in our Colony of Out Islands schools, yes, no....... serious allegations demand swift action by authorities, yes, no......

............... The use of corporal punishment in public schools has been 'discouraged' in recent years, with Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd stating that 'children should only be beaten in schools' if all other options have been exhausted, and in the most egregious of circumstances


BahamaRed 4 years, 4 months ago

I've known of more successful graduates from SAC than any government school that has "discouraged" the use of corporal punishment.

So clearly they are doing something correctly that benefits the future of this country. If he doesn't want his child disciplined for acting the clown in school, then send him to Clown Academy where that behavior is encouraged.

/problem solved


sheeprunner12 4 years, 4 months ago

LOL ......... Is the parent aware of and in possession of the school's rules???


sealice 4 years, 4 months ago

PLease when the catholics can't control you with the fear of god their only next option is violence (spanish inquisition) .... remember who all the pedafiles are Catholic Priests..... this is just History repeating itself in a different light. Sorry for your son... and since the gubmint dem ain ga do nothin fa ya i suggest you get your pound of flesh the old fashioned way....


bogart 4 years, 4 months ago

PUT YERESLF IN DA SHOES OF DA TEACHER..... In teachin dere is a road of teaching skills coaching encouragin....verbal...teachings..evaluating.observations...feedback convepts.leading..building....etcetc.....in one particular subject....teaching skills in the employment of the avademic subject.........yes the teacher is to work towards getting the entire class ......forward........students has challenges....PRIVATE SCHOOLS HAVE PRE ENTRANCE EXAMS TO SELECT SUITABLE ACADEMIC CUSTOMERS..within a few hours test......studentsv not all the same....some easily resolved...and the teacher has a LIMITED..time period to obtain goals to .........get the entire class forward..........limited time schedule......building class towards success.....the teacher is the leader in control of dere teaching..of ALL THE CLASS FOR SUCCESS ....righrfully the teacher cannot sacrifice the rest of the class .....because of one.......it is a paid for academic success FOREMOST school......option would have refuse to have the student in the class....period.....instead of going through the spanking procedures......which should be stopped and....student expelled for troublesone disruptive bahaviour...likely going to govt schooling.....


sheeprunner12 4 years, 4 months ago

Bad kids go to private schools as well ......... the "who you know" crew


stoner 4 years, 4 months ago

Spare the rod and spoil the child.This has been said for years and wether it is done at school or at home,it does effect the attitude of the child and he will become a better person in the end.


Sign in to comment