Behaviour main concern for primary students

| 17/08/2018 | 83 Comments
Cayman News Service

Children at the Savannah Primary School

(CNS): The disruptive behaviour of some students remains a major concern, not only for parents of children at government schools but also for the students that are attending them, according to the results of stakeholder surveys conducted by the Office of Education Standards (OES) as part of its recent primary school inspections. Staff also noted concerns about student behaviour in some schools, but the students  in Years 5 and 6 who took part were more critical of each other than either their parents or teachers, with some significant differences in the results on how kids saw each other’s behaviour compared to the view of adults.

The answers to the anonymous questionnaires were compiled and considered in the schools inspections but the office has also published the survey results, which largely reflect the inspection findings. The students asked to take part were the eldest primary school children because of the level of reading and comprehension skills needed to answer, officials explained.

OES Director Peter Carpenter said the survey was an important part of the school reviews. “The views of stakeholders are critical to the inspection process and, of course, to each of the school’s own self-evaluation,” he said. “We hope to gain greater levels of parental involvement in the inspection process in the coming academic year when we commence our full inspections in private schools, public primary and secondary schools and in Cayman’s early year’s centres.”

Among the many issues that the stakeholders answered questions on was behaviour and the conclusions were aptly summed up by one West Bay student, who said, ‘This is a very good school but some students just don’t show it sometimes.”

Feelings about student behaviour varied significantly in the responses to the survey but it was clearly a major concern for the young students, while the report concluded that improving behaviour was a priority for all.

Asked to agree or disagree with the statement ‘The behaviour of most students in the school is good’,  less than half of the parents of children at Sir John A Cumber in West Bay agreed, while 90% of parents with kids at the Edna Moyle school in North Side agreed. But in both schools fewer students agreed with the statement than parents. Just 43%, of those attending the school in West Bay believed most kids were well behaved, while the North Side students were much harder on their peers than their parents, with 58% of students agreeing with the statement.

However, 100% of the teaching staff in North Side believed their kids were well behaved, while only half of the teachers at Sir John A Cumber believed their students were behaving well.  The contrast between the view of the kids and their teachers was also revealed at George Town Primary, where 80% of teachers felt children were well behaved, while only 48% of the kids agreed with the statement.

While kids were worried about the behaviour of their peers, parents appeared worried about other parents. The lack of parental involvement in the government primary schools was also reflected in the numbers who took part in the survey. All parents of children in all the years, from Reception through to Year 6, at all ten primary schools were asked to participate but just 500 responded to the questions.

When asked about the level of parental involvement in the work of the school, those who agreed positively varied significantly across the schools. More than 52% of parents at Bodden Town and Sir John A Cumber Primary Schools did not agree that they were effectively involved with the school, while 83% of parents at the Creek and Spot Bay Primary School believed they were.

The survey found that this was an area with the lowest agreement rate, with around 63% of parents believing that parents were effectively involved. Teachers were asked the same question and echoed the response of parents. Just 31% of teachers felt parents were effectively involved in the work of Bodden Town primary and 34% in West Bay.

The survey did throw up more positive results, with 91% of teachers showing high levels of satisfaction with the schools in which they worked and in some schools that was as high as 100%. In almost all cases staff agreed that their school offered ‘a safe and caring environment for all members of the school community’.

They agreed that the school effectively supported their professional development and felt that the schools employed appropriately qualified and suitably skilled teachers and staff. But there was more significant variation in responses offered by staff concerning the resources in their schools. While 100% of staff felt East End Primary School was well resourced, only 58% of the staff at Red Bay Primary felt the same way about their school.

The recent inspections report has revealed a number of continuing problems and even falling standards in some cases across the government primary schools. The stakeholder surveys will also provide the ministry with food for thought in many areas, as the survey shows concerns about the curriculum as well as parental involvement, resources and the behaviour of kids.

Commenting on the results of this element of the inspection process, Carpenter said, “While there is evidence that the quality of teaching has improved since the inspections of 2014/15, the stakeholder surveys also indicate that there remain further improvements required to the primary curriculum as a means to enhance teaching.”

Several of the issues raised by the report have been topics of consideration for the Education Council and the chairman, Dan Scott, told CNS this week that they will be rolling out a number of policy recommendations to address the existing challenges, from re-thinking how we deal with the disruptive behaviour of students to putting schools back at the heart of our communities.

See the report in full in the CNS Library

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Category: Education, Local News

Comments (83)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What about the bully etc, etc and etc teachers?????

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Sorry folks, but your comments are all in vain. The people who are proposing the pay increase are the same incompetent leaders who caused the whole mess. Its just a band aid for a scab they keep picking at every now and then.

    They love to separate out the teachers who are trying to make changes and ridicule them to teach all the rest of the teachers to stay inline. Christian thugs.

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  3. Elvis says:

    He he and it took them how long to figure behavior was the problem? Lmao

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    • Anonymous says:

      And you live there and that is your country? Hee hee. LMAO.

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      • Blown Away says:

        And what was your reason for your stupid comment? Clear case if you can’t help keep your stupid comments to yourself or share them with someone who shares your mentality

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  4. Gabrownin says:

    The ministry’s strategy for inclusion with all these inclusion specialist they have hired is not working. By including the severely misbehaved and troubled children in the general school population, the rest of students are affected and not learning. No one is learning because of 1 or 2 children in a class. Speaking from observing my spouse’s class in a government school. Students are sent out of class for disrupting learning, fighting, harassing other students etc and in an hour they are sent back to the class to continue disrupting the learning of others. Inclusion is important but it has to make sense for the greater good.

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    • Anonymous says:

      When I taught in a government school some years back, we had a formula: 5% of the kids cause 95% of the problems in the school. My bet is that it is the same today.

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      • Gabrownin says:

        Its probably a bit worse. The kids know there is no follow through on discipline and punishment. They know they will return back to class regardless of their offense. There should be a class for these kids in the school that cater to their behaviour or emotional issues. Separate them until they can function in the wide population. Their issues needs to be addressed before they can learn anything. It’s not rocket science. The few are spoiling the whole bunch.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They do not include all troubled children in the general school population. Get your facts straight. Many children attend Cornerstones, Steppingstones and the new unit for kids under 6 as well as the KS1 unit. In this I am not including those that are sent overseas. Teachers need to learn to manage classrooms better, the Inclusion Specialist in the Ministry is failing and the School Inclusion Specialists should be about teaching teachers how to manage NOT removing disruptive pupils. I have taught in many countries, including Cayman, and believe me the behavior of most of the children and young people is easily managed.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The role of the inclusion specialist is a joke. Once again we identify a problem and instead of dealing with it, we throw resources at it in the vain hope that somehow it will be different this time. When eventually there is a recognition that the inclusion specialist role is not working, no doubt they will create another layer of posts to deal with the problem.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How have you observed your spouses class? What are you doing in a classroom that is not your place of employment? Have you police clearance to do so, have you been given permission to be in a classroom. You post raises more questions than answers about you and the practices of your spouse than anything else.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Why are you freaking out?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, my firm volunteers to help kids read in the government schools. Alot of firms have programs to assist, maybe because they see how difficult it is to find local talent as kids are literally graduating high school without basic reading and comprehension skills. This issue impacts the whole island -expats and locals. These kids do not have skills to work so they either end up in crime or on welfare which impacts everyone. Firms have to hire expats, work permit fees go up, cost of living goes up, crime is up, we all feel it. This education issue is everyone’s problem.

        How about that…. an expat married to a local trying to help kids read and you have more questions than anything else.

        People worried about the outside helping yet what are you doing? Do you get a police clearance to go and assist kids read and perform arithmetic during a class with a teacher present? I also have children of my own who I intend to sent to government schools and plan to be active in their classes once they start school. Your comment is so sad. Some people actually care and want better for the next generation.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The new residents don’t care cuz their kids go to private schools. The long time locals don’t care cuz they don’t need too. They get everything they need without really getting a school education.

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    • Gray Matter says:

      Public schools… Low income children having children.. Mama just spits them out and don’t even know the name of the Papa…. Then they are rewarded with a welfare cheque every month and the cycle continues

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      • Anonymous says:

        Gray Matter: such a crude generalization! There are a whole range of students attending public schools. Don’t lump everyone in the same basket—especially in such an ugly tone.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just how much is budgeted for parenting by all the ministries? Why dont they have a coordinated action plan involving the courts, social services, schools and parents associations. Seems like attacking the problem at the root “poor Parenting Skills” These skills need to be taught. The courts need to impose parenting courses for parents of students at risk to prevent this society from falling into utter chaos. DO IT NOW

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    • Anonymous says:

      They do have this and have had it for years

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    • Anonymous says:

      Courts already mandate some parents to attend parenting classes. That being the case we now need to look at the effectiveness of the parenting courses. Also there is no coordinated approach with the agencies working in silos mainly because social services is just so dysfunctional and refuses to engage in any meaningful way with other agencies.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    My dad made me pick my own switch.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Love it, old school spoil the rod and spare the child if followed correctly never failed us. Blame the do gooder generation for the problem kids we have now. When you take your licks after causing trouble as a kid you remember the consequences. What consequences follow today, blame the teacher instead? What a mess we’re in.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Are you actually advocating violence against these children? Do you not think that the problem with many of these disruptive children is that they have been beaten, neglected, abused and been given no insight in what a structured life looks like.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Drama queen…

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      • Anonymous says:

        Nobody likes violence, but it seemed to work pretty well for hundreds if not thousands of years. Ever since it became practically illegal to whip kids the prevalence of little disrespectful shitheads that don’t know how to act and are doomed to become shithead adults seems to have increased dramatically.

  8. Anonymous says:

    No worries, the gov needs expat work permit fees to survive anyway.

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  9. 99.9% are locals says:

    Factual response to 17/08/2018 at 3:52 pm
    Just so we are clear and despite widespread belief to the contrary, a number of the parents and children are not “local.”

    ANSWER: The government school has 99.9% locals. Expats children MUST attend private schools. I do not have a problem with that. What I have a problem with, is that we need to pay more attention with our children that attend the government schools. Finally, let us do something NOW to compete with the private schools by ensuring, that as parents, let us do our parts by engaging with our children, do assignments with them, be involved with them, take away their phones, set study time, quiz them, attend PTA meetings, scrub out their mouths that is filled with foul language, teach them respect for their teachers, peers and elders, do not support their bad behaviours. I do not believe that any teachers are abusing our children. I also do not believe that the Minister or her department are MIRACLE WORKERS. We have a great Minister including her team. Let us do our part as parents and protect our country by first making time for our children. In closing not one thing is wrong with the education system. Everything that is wrong starts at HOME. Let us do something and help each other.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We do not have a great Minister and the team around her she does not value nor consult. However, I do agree with the rest of your comments.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Absolute nonsense. At one point half of the students at George Town primary were not Caymanian. Your 99% is way off the mark.

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    • Anonymous says:

      In my class I had very few “native” Caymanians. I had children with parents from Barbados, Jamaica, Roatan, Guanaja, the Philippines, and Cuba.

      Just because the children are in government school does not mean that the children are the children of Caymanians. The parents could have status.

      We have, unfortunately, imported poverty, and the issues that come with it. However, that does not negate the fact the the government has done very little to deal with these issues that teachers have brought to their attention for well over TWENTY FIVE years. Look at the exit reports….teachers have been stated their concerns about student behaviour repeatedly.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Da parents don’t hauve no behavior… Parenting classes and support… Simple. A few adult courses wouldn’t hurt either. Unfortunately, we have people that want to teach, but too many that don’t wah hear anything. This is no fairytale, it’s real out there, be humble and seek advice. One love my beloved people. If we’ve lost faith in our public school system, then let’s home school our next generation. This is our home after all. I’m sure they will be the fittest for survival anyways. Nothing to lose.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Disruptive children in every grade/ every school.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    What’s the trouble with too many troubled tribbles?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The trouble with Tribbles? Gotta love the part where Scotty whacked the Klingon.
      My daughter is 11 and loves these oldies.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Da wha you get for baby mamas & papas everywhere. With proper birth control and sex ed this situation would be less of a problem. Instead we’ve got good Christian rabbits, which beget more rabbits and so on and so on…..

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  14. Anonymous says:

    I was a stellar student with zero involvement from my parents. I had the drive to learn and explore and experience life to the fullest. They didn’t even know which college I was going to apply for. Summer jobs since I was 15, were my own choice. 100% independence. I am so grateful for that. Ability to make my own decisions has allowed me to live and work in several countries. I learned several languages, got a degree in a foreign to me language.

    What happened in the last 20 years?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Did your parents love you?

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      • Anonymous says:

        @12:33 pm
        a very strange question. Doing homework with/for your child is love? Reminding him 20 times to do his homework is love? Enabling his dependency is love? being his/her servant is love?

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        • Anonymous says:

          No, maybe I should have explained my reasoning behind the question. Your parents may not have helped you but did they show you love and encouragement? All I see are parents telling their kids they are losers and to be quiet so the kids grow up to think that instead of knowing their potential.

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        • Anonymous says:

          It is not a strange question at all. Many of the disruptive pupils come from homes where no love has been shown. In fact quite the opposite. If you have never been shown love how to you learn to value yourself and others around you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Are you fluent and correct in your own language?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Too many children brought in from certain countries, to suck up free education that was not afforded in the countries from whence they came. Parents who are not responsible and allow children to have their way at home, so, when they get on the buses they are rude, vulgar and disrespectful. The bus wardens are comdemned andrelegated by parents and the education system encourages such behaviour.
      Children who disrespect bus wardens should be removed from the school transportation/bus and parents provide their own transportation to and from school.
      No child should be allowed to abuse the people who are there to protect them.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Ah now I understand. Its the foreign children disrupting the classrooms.yet when I look through court records I see a lot of Caymanian names. How can that be?

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    • Anonymous says:

      To answer your question simply Standardization of education along with the inability to break out of a system envisioned in the industrial revolution with the sole purpose of pumping out complacent drones rather than curious, and truly intelligent citizens

      It doesn’t work and hasn’t worked properly since the dawn of the internet age
      It will only go downhill from here as kids find more ways to game the system in order to get the best grades for the least amount of effort
      As it currently stands most kids can skate through primary and secondary education with simple google searches and assistance from the smarter classmates and parents (who unwittingly help and hinder their kids)
      The system isn’t meant to actually be very challenging hence when people with learning disabilities make it through primary school and are expected to be on the same level as their peers in secondary school they fail and become potential source of societal issues down the road

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      • Anonymous says:

        We replicate our education system on the UK, bring people from there to enforce their standards, yet despite everything the UK has a broken system with teachers weighed down by bureaucracy, an inspection service that is increasingly out of touch with the essence of what education is, and the Jamaicanization of our teaching workforce. No disrespect to my Jamaican friends but many do not even have the required qualifications.

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        • Fred the Piemaker says:

          The UK system may be troubled, but it produces literacy and numeracy rates better than ours. Not sure the UK system is the main problem.

      • Anonymous says:

        You’re so right. The model of teacher in the front instructing children who are sat quietly in rows is not a modern approach to education.

        While teachers may deserve a pay raise, our children deserve world class teachers not simply higher paid classroom alphas.

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        • Anonymous says:

          I agree, at office meetings I complain to my boss that he needs to walk around and prove his authority, and then joke around and “engage” us. It has changed the productivity to 1000%…..idiot.

          My God, whatever happened to listening skills. Online Phd in education much?

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    • Anonymous says:

      We became Jamaicanised single parent NAU society.

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      • Anonymous says:

        So sad how Caymanians have become so brainwashed, into thinking and following these s.h. People/cultures. Soooooooo sad. And government making it easy for for these losers to live amongst us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well done you but not all students have that motivation and drive. Some are very damaged through abusive families. Many though in the Cayman Islands have a sense of entitlement. It is interesting that even expat kids quickly learn this now cultural norm of “entitlement”. Very sad.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    To my knowledge there is a lady in the Ministry of Education whose job is to engage parents in education. Who is she, who is she accountable to, how is success measured, and given this post has existed for many years, wouldn’t it be reasonable to say that the post has been an absolute failure?

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    • Anonymous says:

      What about the Truancy Officer, who has warned a seat forever and is an absolute Failure. Can we expect results now, when they are the same old, same old arm chair rockers?

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    • Annonymous says:

      Same for the Truancy Officer. He has no idea if kids attend school or not. Been employed for years

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      • Anonymous says:

        The position has been vacant for over a year on Cayman Brac. My guess is they don’t need the post and it’s just more waste of education money…

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Petition for Governor, petition for Cruise Port, but no petition for the Children.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Parents must work together for their children. How many parents are present at PTA or Home School Association meetings? These are the places discussions should take place. Show interest in your child/children, teach them manners and respect, because their behaviour away from home is a reflection of their home training.

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      • Anonymous says:

        3.29pm..you are correct…,. not much participation from parents makes it easy for teachers and infact the entire education department to not be held unaccountable. Sad … sad. Another run away train.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Many of the disruptive children have yet to experience the love that heals wounded souls.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    It is sad but true that most parents in government primary schools do not engage into the learning of their child and just don’t care. Take note of the PTA meetings, of the hundreds of students in primary school you seldom see 10 parents attends PTA meetings. So that alone will show you they just don’t care. But Friday nights you will see a lot of them hang out at the bars until 2:00 a.m. yet PTA meetings last only for at least an hour.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree with you. Also the parents attending the PTAs/ reporting sessions are usually parents of children who are top grade students with no behavioral problems.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    problem is local parenting standards. end of story.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Parenting standards are an issue any where you go. You’ll always find a mixture of good and bad parents, as well as good and “bad” children. There are often many factors contributing to a child’s behaviour. It isn’t just a local thing.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The schools are filled with too many displaced children from here, there and everywhere.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Just so we are clear and despite widespread belief to the contrary, a number of the parents and children are not “local.”

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      • Anonymous says:

        They are local now. If Cayman thinks that “foreign” parents and their parenting methods fall short of their “high standards”, then they need to insist on parenting classes for anyone with children who applies for a work permit. Simple!

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      • Anonymous says:

        They are not locals … and government keeps piling them into cayman, instead of dealing with our problems. Crazy.

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        • Anonymous says:

          “They are not locals”…yeah right, Caymanians are all such wonderful parents and their kids are angels unlike these nasty furriners who come here. Pathetic. Truly pathetic.

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        • Anonymous says:

          This has not been my experience. Most of the disruptive children I work with are in fact locals. Please do not vilify me for point out a fact without comment.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Sheldon Brown was long labeled a local disruptive child. Then a disruptive gang member. When he was dead we discovered he never was a Caymanian and no one could explain what he was doing here. Just an example, but going by looks and guesses is no way no manage an education system.

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          • Anonymous says:

            4:29 am you do realize that 2:22pm was being ironic don’t you?

    • Anonymous says:

      local parent standards that are set by incompetent leaders.

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