L.W. Young teachers claim no admin support to discipline students

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Teachers at the L.W. Young Junior High School on Wednesday claimed that they must endure the rude behaviour of some students because there is a lack of administrative support.

A teacher at the school, who spoke to Eyewitness News on the condition of anonymity, alleged that students do not obey classroom rules and they often display disruptive outbursts which cripple the learning process.

“One of the major challenges we face is discipline,” the teacher lamented. “It’s very hard to control the students when you are not being supported by the administration.

“Ever since the cane was taken out of the classroom, we have seen a decline in the morale of teachers. Students know that we can’t beat them.

“So, you can send them out on suspension as much as you want, but they know when they go, they come back, and we have the same problem, nothing changes.

“Only so much of that you can actually take as a teacher. It came to a point where enough was enough and we just stopped reporting things, so discipline is the key.”

The irate teacher said that everyone on the school’s campus, including administration, should be working together but the “head” is reportedly not working with teachers and there is a breakdown in communication.

“If I say, for example, that a student is not allowed in my room and then I get a note [from administration] saying that child is allowed back in my room, who is in charge; me or the office?

“And this is where the breakdown comes.

“Discipline is a must. Without it, we cannot function and this is what is important.”

Other teachers have claimed that there is a communication challenge that exists between the ministry of education, administration, teachers and parents.

Principal at the L.W. Young Junior High School, Stephen McPhee, said in any working environment there would be conflict and challenges. But the solution, he said, is determining how to address these challenges with better communication and partnership between teachers and administration.

McPhee said he has given his teachers and head of departments the support to carry out their duties.

The L.W. Young principal also stressed that all schools must work on the policies that hold parents accountable for the actions and behaviour of students.

“We [the ministry] have some old, archaic laws and they are not carried out, and so in a system where there are no consequences for actions, we will continue to see, unfortunately, some of these actions as students act out,” McPhee said, adding that L.W. Young seeks to address its issues by targeting the problem at its core.

McPhee said the school has made an attempt to reach young men and get them involved in character building activities such as Junior Junkanoo and yesterday’s honours assembly.

“We’re trying to encourage young men and reach them where they understand that even though they may be in a certain environment, that’s not the world.”

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This article was written by Matthew Moxey – Eyewitness News Online – Intern