Saltus Expulsions

Based on the information reported in the press, the headmaster at Saltus, Ted Staunton, did the right thing in expelling the students for the “birthday punches” incident.

Initially, I thought it was a bit of an overreation to teenaged boys simply having a bit of harmless schoolyard play, as they engaged in a popular tradition. After all, I can even remember variations on this “ritual” when I was younger, in which we often gave each other birthday “pinches”, but never anything that caused this level of harm.

However, there are two important points reported in the article that cannot be ignored: the serious injuries that the boy sustained; and the fact that the school had communicated to students the zero tolerance policy toward violence or bullying. Clearly, some might argue that the boys involved were not intending to bully or to be violent, but it also sounds like the situation escalated well beyond rough play – and it certainly had to for the boy to have the injuries that were reported. It sounds like the video clip of the incident confirmed this, as well.

Mr. Staunton’s determination to stick with his decision is important in maintaining standards within the school, which is something many would like to see more of in the public school system. At a time when violence, aggression, and disrespect is at an all time high on the island, holding each other accountable must be a priority, now more than ever. We are far too lenient in Bermuda when it comes to dealing with such things and it has, no doubt, contributed significantly to the state in which the island now finds itself.

Teaching young people, in particular, to deal with the consequences of their actions is one of the best lessons we can give them. I doubt very much that Saltus will have such a problem again, with this firm response; and that is exactly what holding people accountable tends to do.

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~ by Carol-Ann Simmons on January 7, 2011.

One Response to “Saltus Expulsions”

  1. We are so quick to judge. Things are not always as they seem. The truth will prevail in time. Those who have judged quickly may find themselves delivering apologises.

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