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Security guard rude, indifferent

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20.MAR.09

Editor: I read with interest an article published in another publication dated March 13th, 2009, under the caption “Sad Day”. In the said article, Gillian Dougan, Deputy Heasteacher of the Kingstown Preparatory School, was commenting on the events leading to a skirmish between a parent and a teacher at the institution.{{more}}

As a responsible citizen and parent, I can in no way condone such behaviour in a society as volatile as ours. However, I have concerns with Miss Dougan’s comments correlating this incident with what transpired on the following day. Dougan was quoted as saying: “As recent as Friday, close to 3:00pm, a group of parents was banging on the school gate and blew in the security guard’s face.”

Editor, had I not been present on the day in question, I would have been inclined to draw certain misleading conclusions from the aforementioned comment. Whether by design or otherwise, the actions of the ‘security guard’ were not mentioned in the article. In this regard, let me apprise you of what transpired.

On the said Friday, the ‘security guard’ locked shut the main entrance and left the vicinity for a prolonged period. During her absence, the Kindergarten sections were dismissed, prior to the general school population, which is the normal practice. These infants, approximately 135 upward (3 classes x 45 per class) between the ages of 4 1/2 to 6 years old flocked towards the gate and stared in bewilderment at their waiting parents/ guardians on the other side of the locked gate. No security. While they waited, the Grade 1 students were dismissed and congregated in the same area, another 100 plus students. Still no sign of the security. Editor, at this point, anxiety began to sweep through the gathering of parents/guardians, and many of us began to shout various instructions to our charges: ‘move away from the gate’, ‘go back to your classroom’ etc. Still no security.

At this critical point, the Grades 2 and 3 were dismissed from the upper section of the bottom building, and true to form, they came rushing down the steps and headed for a gate they anticipated to be open and an area that SHOULD have been devoid of Kindergarten students. In the ensuing melée, youngsters were crushed against the LOCKED gate, bigger children were climbing over others to exit the premises, while parents/ guardians looked on helplessly from mere yards.

A few of us desperate parents/ guardians tried in vain to pry the gate open to rescue the Infants (referred to by Miss. Dougan as “banging”). Still no security.

Editor, Grades 4, 5 and 6 were dismissed prior to the security guard ‘gracing’ us with her presence. She thoroughly ‘roughed up’ a student from Grade 3, trying to navigate her way through the mass of students to open the gate.

Her pronouncement of “What happen? Me had something fuh do,” and her indifferent attitude towards frustrated parents clearly did not augur well for the occasion. Against this backdrop, some heated words were exchanged between her and some parents.

This whole episode was unfortunate for all stakeholders and should not be allowed a repeat. However, I am convinced that the article misrepresented responsible parents, and that in itself was also unfortunate.

Responsible Parent

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