Schools face legal requirement on bullying

| 19/07/2019 | 50 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): All schools in the Cayman Islands will be required by law to introduce and follow written anti-bullying policies once new legislation is passed. The Law Reform Commission is circulating a draft amendment to the Education Law that calls for the mandatory implementation of disciplinary penalties on students who contravene school policy and relevant regulations. Officials hope the law will address concerns and the negative impact of bullying in schools.

The public is being asked to comment on the proposed law and regulations, which were drafted based on comments received during the public consultation period on the commission’s paper “Bullying: Legislation, Policy or Both?”

The legal drafters had sought input from the community on whether or not bullying could be addressed through appropriate legislation, formulating policies or a combination of both, which is now the recommended outcome.

Under the proposed legislation all schools will be required to adopt a policy under the law and school leaders will be responsible for the implementation and oversight, which will also require schools to provide written quarterly reports on bullying to the education department and ministry, as well as the Education Council.

Cayman is no different from many countries, where bullying is increasingly seen as a major problem in schools. Recent inspection reports by the Office of Education Standards, even for schools graded ‘good’, revealed that significant numbers of students and parents did not think that their school puts a stop to bullying. School buses were also identified as places where students don’t always feel safe and where bullying occurs.

The public is invited to provide comments on the draft bill and regulations in writing by 16 September to:

The Director of the Cayman Islands Law Reform Commission, 4th Floor Government Administration Building, Portfolio of Legal Affairs, 133 Elgin Avenue, George Town, Grand Cayman

P.O. Box 136, Grand Cayman KY1-9000

or via email to cilawreform@gov.ky

The legislation can be viewed on the Law Reform Commission website. Hard copies can be collected from the Offices of the Commission at GAB.

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Category: Education, Laws, Local News, Politics

Comments (50)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Someone should take a good look at Prep High School right now for turning a blind eye to all that has been reported to them.
    Students who have spoken up on behalf of their fellow students was told they were causing trouble and to step away.
    Others have informed management and nothing has been done. Kids are bullying each other, teachers are seeing it, parents and students alike are reporting it and NOTHING is being done to protect those being bullied

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good paper by the Law Reform Commission. The current LRC chairman and council are a breath of fresh air.

  3. Juan Juan says:

    “You not see nuttin”

    • Anonymous says:

      Its 2019 and finally they are doing something about bullying. The Cayman Islands is so backwards it isn’t funny. Hey Tara I am sure there was bullying when you were in office and you didn’t do anything about it and yet the people of West Bay voted you in again!

      • Anonymous says:

        I personally contacted her about bullying and she brushed it off and passed the buck to some staff members. These staff members then told me that unfortunately the bullying law only covered public but not private schools and there was nothing they could do to force the private schools management to do anything about bullying. I’m very happy this is now expanding to cover private schools.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can write all the policies you like, without leadership and an effective senior management team it will continue in our schools. Also what is to be done about teacher bullying>

  4. Anonymous says:

    Bring back the switch.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      8:50pm.you need more than the switch to handle these bullies today . And they are not only in the Schools. and streets too.

    • Anonymous says:

      And why do you think bullies happen? Because their parents probably beat them and/or ignore them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    More laws and no enforcement is not the answer. But a good enough excuse to stop trying. Welcome to third world. Plan accordingly.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Bullying is a longstanding sinful practice demonstrated mainly by those who are attention seekers, lacking self-esteem or trying to fit in. It’s sad that many of those persons are or where brought up in good homes but fail to behave in like manner when they go out in the wider world. I believe they should be counciled and held accountable for their actions..Somewhat like ‘tough love.’ Of course they must not be hated for what they do, but face the penalties.
    To add to that, those who fall prey or victim should be given moral support and regular supervision.

  7. Anonymous says:

    3:03pm are you the chief or in the managerial level?. If so hope you are leading with the right examples. Not just giving your lip service. But you are talking the talk and walking the walk. If you are not doing that you are one of the very facety and straight faceded bullies in the workplace that needs to be dealt with by law.

  8. Ron Ebanks says:

    CNS are the Bullying Law giving Teachers any powers of how they can deal with the bullies ? And is the Law covering outside the School bullying ?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Two of my daughters were mercilessly bullied. One stuck it out and ended up on medication and the other I pulled.
    The schools I call out are Cayman Prep and George Hicks.
    To those sanctimonious people who swear by the education system, I would say you are living in a bubble.
    These children came from a decent, respectful Christian home and were subjected to vile abuse, physically, verbally and digitally.
    We do not have to put up with that sort of abuse.
    There are thousands of children in Cayman being battered by these thugs.
    The biggest thugs are the parents of these offenders because your harshness makes your children harsh.
    Time for a reset, I would think, an amnesty even.

    ‘I am sorry that I bullied you. I was ignorant. Please forgive me?”

    “We are sorry that our child bullied your child. Please forgive us.”

    Perhaps the schools should have amnesty day?

    • Sickofcorruption says:

      So weak.whats wrong with u all.bullying has been going on since the beginning of time.i left high school 86 so you know what generation im from.no wanker snowflake no useless millenian.
      In my school of 1200 kid there was loads of bullying.shed loads.you did Not go a doctor an get meds.hell NO.
      You bidded ur time thats what u did an made sure nobody looking an knocked the f##k outta then.
      No more bs.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are better ways than ancient warfare. Time to evolve a little.

      • Anonymous says:

        NO! Today’s bullying is nothing like it used to be. The erosion of moral values in societies today has become a phenomenon. The future of people’s well-being in digital age looks bleak. The addictive technologies have captured the attention and mindspace of the youngest generation. More isolation, less ability to focus, more ability to be influenced by fake news. The long-term effects of children growing up with screen time are not encouraging: poor attention spans, anxiety, depression and lack of in-person social connections.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are so correct. I blame the parents of these bullied children. Let me tell you sometime its your fault for not helping your children. Stop blaming teachers.

        • Anonymous says:

          I have seen numerous incidences of teachers bullying pupils but because they are well connected or from the right church nothing gets done.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What about school boards and teachers (ie adults in authority) that force their intolerant and/or misogynistic dinosaur agendas on students in an effort to stifle civil rights, equality, body rights, and family planning?

  11. Anonymous says:

    The suicides resulting from modern day bullying is the result of parents allowing the kids phones to raise and babysit them.

  12. Anonymous says:

    In my day all we had to do was tell our parents. Now these idiots got laws that you cant beat children. Bet if them bullies got a whopping on they ass in front of the class with a paddle. End of story.

    • Anonymous says:

      Beating the hell out of a child may not be a good thing. Probably a lot of examples in northward right now.

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        Worked just fine for me. Nobody said we have to “beat the hell out of them”, but what was suggested was a whopping on the ass in front of the class. This happened to me. It wasn’t so much the pain of the paddle, but the humiliation. It worked. I behaved.

        I don’t think we should ever scream at our children, but there have to be consequences for their poor choices and their actions. It’s the way adults are created. You and me and everyone know people who are over 21, but not really yet “adults”. What went wrong with them? I think they weren’t held to a standard that made them accountable for their actions.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is needed badly in the LA also!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Bullying has existed since eons. Yet, youth rarely resorted to suicides until recently..
    Mobile phones and social networks, good inventions gone wrong, contributed greatly to bullying. It is a known fact that children can be very cruel to each other. Teaching how to cope must be introduced at the very young age, but not earlier than 10 yo.
    Just like drunk drivers, bullying can’t be eliminated by laws and regulations. It would definitely help, but omitting “how to cope with life, bullies, etc” from anti-bullying programs would be a huge mistake.
    Banning mobile phones and Wi-Fi at schools, just like it was done inFrance, would be very beneficial for children. In many countries schools are going back to wired connection and real books. Children don’t know how socialize these days, it is time to intervene.

  15. Anonymous says:

    CNS, would you be able to find out the parameters being considered when it comes to bullying in schools and will these parameters be made explicit in the law? E.g. No student should be bullied physically or verbally on the basis of skin-color, country of origin, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic status, etc.

    CNS: I’ve only skimmed the law and the discussion paper, which can be found on the LRC website or in the CNS Library here, but it seems that the causes are not dealt with so much as the act and the effect on the child being bullied. I’m guessing that the reasoning is that whatever the cause, including all those listed, the bullying must be dealt with.

    • Anonymous says:

      12.26pm… thank you.. also I hope it is extended to the bully teachers that we have in the system.

      • Anonymous says:

        I can’t agree more. We have a “management team member” on Cayman Brac who bullies students, parents and staff. A real shame they only promote her.

  16. Anonymous says:

    praise God! Now teachers are forced to stand up and defend the LGBT youth who are being bullied on a daily basis

    • Anonymous says:

      Typical, one group immediately thinking it’s all about them. Bullying is not gender specific nor is it gender preference specific.

      • Anonymous says:

        Typical…an ignoramus assuming that one comment from an individual commenter speaks for a whole group. Head up your @$$ much?…

  17. Anonymous says:

    They need it in the workplace too!

    • Anonymous says:

      In the work place the problem are people don’t want to work and come to work on time and when they are spoken to about it, they call it bullying

      • Anonymous says:

        Or when told to actually do the job they were hired for and not be on FB all day.

      • Anonymous says:

        3.03 Those are the truest words. Lazy people at the work place love to say how they are bullied especially if you ask them to do a job properly.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have no doubt that may be true in some circumstances, but you have to remember those bullies in school find their way into the workplace, especially in government departments. They use their power to bully people with the threat of termination, and warning letters. This way they get people to do whatever they want, regardless of policies that are in place. Bullying is real in the workplace.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is not what I’ve found to be the case. I’ve found bullying more along the lines of do these ‘extra favours’ said from male management to subordinate female management and you will get favours. For the ones that don’t follow through get bullied and eventually leave on their own or unfairly dismissed. These male management then pass the information to their friends at other companies and these women have difficulty finding jobs. Difficult to prove yes, does it happen? Absolutely all the time. However it is more an expat problem rather than a local problem.

        The other bullying is just the normal obvious expat/local divide. But that is nothing new. In other cases it’s more of a clueless manager against a more experienced/educated subordinate. The subordinate is bullied into doing all the work of the manager who claims the work as his/her own.

        There are many examples however there has been no recourse for victims. Most stay in the jobs until they can find a way to leave the position for another department or find a way to leave the company entirely.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes they do. I was mercilessly bullied by a Caymanian. Everyone knew what she was and to be fair I was moved for my own health. However, the person in question was untouchable because she was well connected and to be honest everyone was afraid of her.

      • Anonymous says:

        And then I ended up working for her!
        She was a mean one. Cruel and evil. Bullied her husband relentlessly. Constantly threatened to have him thrown off the island and would never see his children again. Somehow got it in her head that I was trying to steal her husband. I guess she didn’t think I was happy with mine..
        That was 20 years ago and she even bullied me up until 2 years ago when I finally advised her husband that my next stop was to her employer (popo) to show them her texts to me. It finally stopped.
        Kidding about it being the same person but it sure sounds like it!!

        And yes, in every job I’ve held on this island as an expat, I was bullied in some way by Caymanians. I would never paint all with the same brush. I have some good Caymanian friends. But I am never included socially.
        Not sure why I stayed this long.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Generation Snowflake. A swirly or two never hurt anyone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Parents used to teach kids how to cope with life’s unfairness. Today parents attention is mostly on their mobile phones.
      Online bullying didn’t exist just 15 years ago. Children don’t understand that social networks are not real, but virtual. They react to it as if it is real. They take insults from people they never met personally. Children need help to distinguish what is real and what is not. S.Jobs with his inventions is not a hero in my book. Societies weren’t ready for technological advances of such magnitude. He must have taken that into account. Consequences of his inventions have changed the world for the worse.

    • Anonymous says:

      Said the parents of the school bully….

    • Anonymous says:

      I am 60. In my youth, there were two ways to deal with a bully: Endure it, or inflict unanticipated violence. The latter was the only true cure. Either way, it was up to the person being picked on, and the school administration and teachers allowed it to happen.

      Yes, I acquired some fighting skills — a good thing. What was not a good thing is that I didn’t acquire adult conflict resolution skills. That came much later.

      Legislation/policy is never going to stop bullying, but perhaps if the sharp edge of it is curtailed, then we can have a better place to educate our children. Sometimes kids go to the dark side, possibly because the thug attitudes and ways are tolerated in the system. We have to do better for the kids of today who didn’t grow up rough like we did.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Why on earth is something like this not already in place? Why does it take an act of government to protect our children? Why aren’t the schools not taking this seriously?

    • Anonymous says:

      This government doesn’t care about children or else they would spend money in after school programs and WAY more sex ed over a port.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:32am – Because most of the Teachers are not from here, they also bully the local teachers.

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