Given all of the excuses and pseudo-justifications the Minister of Education has given for closing the West End Primary School (WEPS) in preference for the continuation of Somerset Primary School (SP); it is unforgivable in the extreme that he would in November 7th’s Bermuda Broadcasting News BBC 7.00pm TV News segment, insultingly announce that he would ‘rename’ SP by substituting the name WEPS. With the greatest of respect, the Minister has in facile and docile manner sunken to a new all-time low. He has bested himself in this regard.
It is apparent that Minister Robain has run out of fundamentally superior and distinguishing comparators with which to support his choice of SP over WEPS and is now desperately resorting to “quick-fix, sleight of hand, band-aid, papering over the cracks” dubious solutions. In doing so, Minister Robain misjudges, and in no small way, belittles, the intelligence, sensitivities and integrity of the West End Community who have worked so very hard over the decades to ensure that their children received, and continue to receive in all of its relevant facets, the best educational experience they could or can under the circumstances.
Worse, Minister Robain, in his intention to ‘rename’ SP as WEPS seeks, it would appear, to erase the great legacy and history of the WEPS by ‘insidiously grafting’ it upon a school and property that outright humiliated and rejected Black people from educating their children for decades from attending those “consecrated grounds” reserved for Whites only.
Minister Robain, it seems by his actions, further and zealously seeks to ‘sanitize’ or assign to the dustbins of oblivion, the odious, racist and exclusionary legacy and history of the SP by ‘renaming’ it with the name of the much exalted and respected WEPS. How demeaning, short-sighted and feckless is that ? How dare he ? What do our forebears think of that intention on his part, we ask ? The ‘motives’ for Minister Robain’s latest ploy and manoeuvre are not clear and bear close scrutiny, and certainly demand answers.
Let us be clear, the WEW’s are singularly focused only on preserving the WEPS from being closed. We are not interested in playing “silly and puerile ‘name games’ “ or other games with the Minister. However, when he makes such dangerous comments, such comments will not go unanswered.
In truth, we simply ask of him, and the public at large, to look at the following incontrovertible facts about the WEPS, and understand why we hold so strongly onto our position that the WEPS ought not to be closed, certainly not on the unsupportable ‘facts’ posited by Minister Robain and his team. We reiterate WEPS’s facts as follows:
• West End is located where the children live therefore has the best geographic location.
• No flood risk compared to Somerset Primary
• Has more classrooms than Somerset Primary, therefore requires less construction. In other words people, less money out of your pockets to make the school ‘fit for purpose’.
• Close to Sandys Secondary Middle School where the students will transition to ‘the next level’. ( Or, perhaps Sandys is getting the axe as well? )
• Conveniently accessible for buses etc.
• Safer Location.
• Already the community hub.
• Has educated the majority of Sandys residents…past and present.
• The current location of West End Primary represents hallowed grounds unlike the history of the grounds of Somerset Primary.
West End Warriors
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