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Clifton Hunter Principal responds to school bus incident

The RCIPS announced on Friday (14 September) that community officers will be stationed on campus at Clifton Hunter High School.

On Thursday (13 September,) Eastern District community officers met with all parties involved in this incident. The RCIPS said the issue had been resolved, but police and the school will continue to monitor the situation.

It comes after a Cayman 27’s story on Tuesday (11 September) about a parent boarding a school bus in the North Side area and threatening a student accused of bullying a classmate.

Principal Pauline Beckford spoke to Cayman 27 in the aftermath of that incident.

It wasn’t the smooth start to the school term the Principal was hoping for.

Parents like Megan Ritch took to social media, shocked at what happened when a parent entered a school bus to threaten a child on board.

Under pressure from parents at Thursday night’s PTA meeting, Ms. Beckford condemned the escalation of the incident. She said she was “disappointed in what panned out and how… It has affected students who were indirectly involved in the incident.”

Off camera, parents expressed their concerns to Cayman 27, but Miss Beckford said where the actual incident happened – off school property – did pose a challenge.

“We do have a very good safeguarding policy. The difficulty is the incident happened away from the school, therefore it was rather difficult to manage the situation without it becoming an exaggeration,” she said.

Over at John Gray BHigh School, Principal Jon Clark said sometimes tempers do boil over when it comes to bullying.

He said it was not an “unusual occurrence for parents to show their emotion in that way.”

He added, “We always ask for parents to deal with their feelings through the school. Emotions run high. It’s very easy if you feel your child is being picked on to meet that fire with fire.”

Bullying on school grounds will always be an issue for teachers. Both schools have stringent anti-bullying procedures in place, with students mounting the first line of defence.

“Our prefects and our pupil leadership team are around campus and will support any student that’s there,” Jon Clark explained.

Principal Beckford wanted parents at Clifton Hunter was to “know this is a safe school where children can come to get the education they deserve.”

The challenge educators now face is how to protect children from bullying in a 24/7 digital world – especially when they are off campus and out of sight of the school.

About the author

Caroline James

Caroline James

Caroline joined Cayman 27 in September 2018 after seven years working for Sky News in London, both as a Producer on the World News programme and, latterly, as News Editor on the Foreign Desk, where she led coverage on the ground of stories as diverse as the 2016 US Election, corruption allegations surrounding FIFA and The Oscars. Before this, she worked as a Producer for Associated Press Television News (APTN) for two years, based in their London headquarters. Caroline graduated with a BA Hons degree in Arabic, French and German from Durham University, before gaining an MA in Television Journalism with distinction at City University, London. When not hunting down stories in Cayman, she can be found playing tennis, practicing Bikram yoga or enjoying a beer on Seven Mile Beach. You can reach Caroline at carolinejames@hurleysmedia.ky or 326-2243.

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