Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones as he addressed sixth form students in their new classroom.

Jones decries media frenzy

Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones simply abhors the media frenzy that occurs when there is an incident or outbreak of violence at any school.

He made his position clear yesterday, during a ceremony held at The Ellerslie School to officially launch a sixth form there. Jones noted that in listening to school Principal Lieutenant Colonel Errol Brathwaite as he made his address, he sensed that in the midst of the joy surrounding the day’s events he felt “burdened” that he was “carrying some anguish and pain in his bosom”.

He would eventually allude to the altercation which recently occurred at the school, which resulted in a student receiving several slashes to one of his hands with a cutlass, and a finger being severed. That matter is now before the court and as such, Minister Jones had his say, without however going into the specific details of the case.

“I honestly sympathise because in the midst of reaching excellence, of promoting good concepts and good values… dark moments occurred. I was there saying please don’t cry, not that there is anything wrong with crying because you are human and you lead this school, so I could understand how you feel when… there is a fracture that appears. You agonise at night and at day, what more you could have done and your staff to limit or to stop that fracture,” Jones told the principal.

“Let me say to you… you are man, you are flesh and that flesh can be broken. We try to control, we try to instill values, and we try to provide discipline. We get success sometimes and sometimes we are changed by the few,” he added.

He continued, “At times there are outbreaks of violence, there are outbreaks of bad behaviour and what surprises me is the frenzy then that occurs when an incident happens, as though there is a hunger and a thirst, not for righteousness, but… there is this mad feeding frenzy. I abhor it.”

“The school, or the place, the community or the village is held up, because one or two, or three or ten have gone astray from that which is the accepted norm and value,” he maintained.

He then offered his view as to why this is the case.

“Why this mad frenzy? It feeds sales, it feed money and man has never been able to escape the clutches of the strong desire for money. I sell more papers. I get more readership and listenership. So the Ellerslie School is spread across the pages and across the airwaves, through the social media. No one sings a song for the school. No one sings a song for the victim or victims and surely, no one sings a song for the perpetrator,” he lamented.

He later added, “I cannot speak to the incident of the recent past, because that matter has been before the courts… suffice to say there must be tears in our hearts today, where anybody could behave in that kind of way to cause harm and to fracture a school.” (RSM)

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