Parents Urged to Speak to Their Children About Behaviour in Public After School Hours

The Department of Education is urging parents across the Island to ensure that their school age children do not engage in anti-social behaviour after school.
This, after a store owner wrote to a few schools expressing concern over students’ behaviour.
One of the school leaders responding to the store owner was Dellwood Middle School Principal, Trina Cariah.
The collaboration led to a temporary ban of Dellwood Middle School students from the store.
Although there was some initial miscommunication around the store’s intentions, Principal Cariah endorsed the ban to allow some time for the school community to reflect on the need for appropriate and acceptable behaviour when out in public.
“I visited the store during the ban and had a robust discussion with the owner. Although the challenges faced by store owners are not solely a Dellwood Middle School issue, we wanted to focus our minds as a school community,” said Principal Cariah.
“I know that only a minority of students are behaving in a disruptive manner and not all of them were from Dellwood Middle School. But we hoped to give the store owner some reprieve for a few days while we reflected as a school community on the consequences of anti-social behaviour.”
Mrs. Cariah added, “We have had constructive discussions and I have encouraged all our students to stand up for their school and not allow a small minority to continue to tarnish our reputation. Several M3 students joined me in addressing the student body on Thursday when I informed them of the temporary ban. And some of our students are now willing to speak up when they observe their peers engaging in anti-social behaviour.”
Ciera Garrafa, owner of Hamilton store, Treats Limited said, “It is unfortunate that members of the public – adults – were gleeful about the situation and passed around a photo of a notice when the intention was to diffuse the antisocial behaviour for Thursday & Friday.
“In no way did we intend to stigmatize Dellwood Middle School students. I approached a total of seven schools – three public and four private – seeking a solution to what has become a major challenge in the hours after school. In that communication, I suggested that we may have to ban all students if the behaviour continued.
“This was not an overnight decision. My team and I were having to constantly tell students (from multiple schools) about their behaviour when inside my store.
“I appreciate the support of Dellwood Middle School especially since they were one of the very few schools to work with us to fix the situation. All students are welcome into the store provided they adhere to basic rules of etiquette and behaviour. Our aim is to maintain Treats as a safe space for everyone.
“We did not in any way want to involve the police so I made the decision to email schools instead. In future if issues persist, we shall resort to taking action against those students who insist on displaying bad behaviour.
“I would like to point out that Dellwood Middle School students were allowed back into the business on Tuesday (We close early on Mondays), and their behaviour has since been impeccable.
“We have a great relationship with a lot of students and after speaking to some yesterday they even agreed that things had gotten a little out of hand and we were all working as a team to improve the after school hour experience.”
Commissioner of Education Kalmar Richards, said, “While our school leaders do set expectations of behaviour in and out of schools, the issue of anti-social behaviour by students after school hours needs to be addressed as a Bermuda issue.
“I applaud Principal Cariah for her proactive and collaborative approach and I am pleased about the improved behaviour of Dellwood students who have visited the store since the ban was lifted.  I commend the students for their good behavior.”

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