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Enid Scatliffe PTA President not pleased with hasty resumption of classes

Classes have now resumed at the Enid Scatliffe Pre-Primary School but PTA President, Shevone Findlay, said she is not pleased about the time frame for the resumption. Photo:VINO
Ceiling panels set out to be cleaned on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at the Enid Scatliffe Pre-Primary School. Photo:VINO
Ceiling panels set out to be cleaned on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at the Enid Scatliffe Pre-Primary School. Photo:VINO
Ms Findlay described the entire episode as a ‘sweep under the rug’ and felt parents were being pacified with the speedy restart of classes at the school, “it looks like it is going to take time because bacteria needs time,” she said. Photo:VINO
Ms Findlay described the entire episode as a ‘sweep under the rug’ and felt parents were being pacified with the speedy restart of classes at the school, “it looks like it is going to take time because bacteria needs time,” she said. Photo:VINO
The ceiling at the school after panels were removed for sanitization on February 5, 2013. Photo:VINO
The ceiling at the school after panels were removed for sanitization on February 5, 2013. Photo:VINO
Replaced ceiling panels at the school seen on February 7, 2013 after being sanitized. Photo:VINO
Replaced ceiling panels at the school seen on February 7, 2013 after being sanitized. Photo:VINO
Students waiting at the school on February 5, 2013 to be picked up by their parents after it was announced that there would be no classes on that day. Photo:VINO
Students waiting at the school on February 5, 2013 to be picked up by their parents after it was announced that there would be no classes on that day. Photo:VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Now that the dust has settled (no pun intended), the all clear has been given and students are back at class at the Enid Scatliffe Pre-Primary School in Road Town following the discovery and clean-up of a rat infested ceiling, many might have expected that all is well.

Not so says PTA President Shevone Findlay who related that she was “not satisfied with the time frame that was given to address [the] issue.”

The head of the school’s PTA expressed that there were significant health concerns that remained given the fact that the ceiling panels were exposed to various chemicals and moisture and put back in their place subsequently.

“Sanitization is not a drying process,” related Ms Findlay, “so sanitization is adding more moisture and we still could not confirm whether the ceiling wood was treated wood.”

The issue of appearances was also something that weighed heavily on her mind as she related her concerns to this news site. She noted that it might appear that she was ‘bringing up the issue’ even after it ‘looks or appears to be fixed’ but she felt that the health of the students and teachers at the school were more important than appearances.

According to the PTA President, “The sanitising of the classroom was superb…” however, it was the process in which it was done and the timeframe in which it was executed that most troubled her and other parents.

“The children didn’t need to come back so quickly, teachers are still not satisfied that they had to come back so soon,” she added, “you can still smell certain chemicals in the air.”

Ms Findaly further related that some parents have resorted to keeping their children at home because they were experiencing certain ‘medical conditions’.

“If you are going to tell me that [the ceiling] is too old for [air conditioning], then for you to have a rat infestation episode, [then] take [the ceiling down], how can you tell me that they are good to go back up?” she questioned.

Protocol induced silenced?

Some of the teachers, Ms Findlay explained, were not speaking about their concerns because they were “in a mode of losing their jobs and being a civil servant”.

But she questioned this as well by asking, “How can you be a civil servant and you don’t have a voice to talk about your own healthcare?” “They are looking at following protocol,” she continued, “protocol was followed but how can you just sit back and say that it is ok?”

Ms Findlay described the entire episode as a ‘sweep under the rug’ and felt parents were being pacified with the speedy restart of classes at the school, “it looks like it is going to take time because bacteria needs time,” she said.

“You are going to only see it when a teacher or child becomes infected,” she stated, “and that is my big problem.”

The PTA President felt that the students and teachers could have been given at least a week away from the school to allow for the ceiling to be aired out properly. She also claimed that roaches were seen crawling around the classrooms after the sanitization process had been completed and this upset her even further.

She insisted that she was not trying to aggravate the issue, but rather she was simply attempting to be a voice for persons who were either too timid or felt intimated into silence on the issues surrounding their health and the health of the children at the school, both for the present and future.

“There are still empty slots [in the ceiling] in these classrooms,” Ms Findlay related, “everything is not put back up… you can see the expression on teachers’ [faces] but they just have to go ahead and do what they have to do.”

Many parents, she also noted, had no choice but to bring their children to the school because relocation was not an option that they could readily entertain. She also rubbished the excuse that there was not enough money to resolve the issue of a temporary alternative location for students to occupy while the issue was being resolved at the school. “It’s pure nonsense… I don’t’ see why it looks like a difficult issue and I’m not pleased… I’m not pleased… parents are not pleased [and] teachers are not pleased,” she expressed. The PTA head also said that many parents and teachers had called her expressing their concerns at the reasons for the resumption of classes so soon after the sanitization exercise.

“How can you tell me within a week that it’s ready, how? It doesn’t make sense to me… if I’m wrong then that’s it… I’m wrong,” she said. Ms Findlay also felt that because there were no visible signs of infection with students at the school authorities may have assumed that all is well, but she was quick to note that airborne bacteria are not visible to the naked eye.

Ms Findlay stressed that she was not trying to make a name for herself or bashing anyone and could not understand how officials might want her to leave the situation alone because it ‘appears fixed’. “Protocol has nothing to do with health,” she added.

The PTA President was hopeful that it would not take a disaster to occur for officials to react to the situation at the school and said this was what she was praying for.

“If you’re going to turn a blind eye to some children that just came out of ‘day care stage’,” Ms Findlay said, “then to me you’re foolish.”

When contacted, Principal of the school, Ms Valerie Welsh said, “…the issue has been quite tough and I think it’s time for us to move on.”

This news site’s queries to Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Dr Marcia Potter were forwarded to Acting Chief Education Officer Mrs Jillian Douglas-Phillip who was unavailable for comment up to post time.

30 Responses to “Enid Scatliffe PTA President not pleased with hasty resumption of classes”

  • 4 g (08/02/2013, 08:20) Like (6) Dislike (8) Reply
    Myron does not care about the children just political point Fahie hurry back boss
    • NYC (08/02/2013, 11:01) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      Myron should have been bridled a long time go
    • Not true (08/02/2013, 14:13) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply
      I will not have u saying those things about Hon. Walwyn because he is trying his best. I know that his interest is making sure that the schools are up to standards when it comes to our children. We need to learn to give thanks and stop finding fault. We are blessed in these Virgin Islands. ...we need to have an attitude of gratitude. Chutes man.
      • TO: Not true (09/02/2013, 23:18) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        U can say what u wish but the man done went on the NDP site BVI Platinum saying all clear and he very well know he was discevering the people and their children.
  • weed (08/02/2013, 08:53) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    NDP a do nothing government just like a do nothing congress
    • fox (08/02/2013, 12:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      aye. smarty pants
    • 999 (08/02/2013, 12:29) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      This is a tough one for the Mr. Myron and the people, on the one hand, the public is fed up of the abuses of power and violations of the constitution on the other they sick of nothing being done to help the people by this bunch.
    • cup (10/02/2013, 09:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      This is a big joke,
  • sniff (08/02/2013, 09:29) Like (5) Dislike (15) Reply
    i was there, visted two class rooms and smell nothing.
  • ccc (08/02/2013, 09:51) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    I feel vindicated by this article unlike that aritcle I saw on the NDP site BVI platnium trying to make the wicked minsiter look good
  • Biggs (08/02/2013, 09:53) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    Is Mrs. Findley an expert in this field? If not she needs to hush and get advice from people who know what they are doing. I understand her frustrations and she may mean well, but who is she to talk about how long this should be done or that should be done? Isn't she a banker? I never hear more foolishness. If you are not confident then ask an expert in the field to back up your claim not making stupid statements in the media, it helps no one. I am sure everybody involved cares about the kids so work together and stop the stupid fighting. We have an environmental health department, terminix and other professionals here. After the company cleaned they should've been brought in to check it out. Come on man this is just ridiculous now.
  • sence alone (08/02/2013, 10:06) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    maaan listern,, its not that bad as how it sound, the place is clean smell great,, it jus like u home there are places that are untop of the roof or in ur closed top for a very long time an ofcourse dust must be on them ,, its was mainly dust there are sign of rats yes as one will expected were there are food and those areas that were affected the ceilin tiles the spongy one hav been depose of but the plywood is painted and was clean and they was just dusty ,,so people who don't kno abou things and how things works allways hav the most to say..
    • @ sence alone (08/02/2013, 11:06) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Anyone with a modicum of political commonsense would know that you to do play politics with children and run and reopen the school making people believe that you work fast when in fact the situation is worst than first.

      When your motive remains power and reelection you care about no one but self!
  • x (08/02/2013, 10:59) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    exactly i was expecting stong industrial cleaning agent odor. the class i was in was back in order. This was somewhat blown way out. Am i very glad that the other businesses came in clean and try to get those kids back into school. Its sad our public schools being neglected and we should use this school as an example to have regular inspections and extermination.
    Again good job to corea, the principal, teachers, government agencies and others who tried to assist. My child is so happy to be back in school. NO LIE
  • horse track (08/02/2013, 11:12) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    Dr. Smith, Myron has already bolted out the stable, you are now trying to reign him in, too late, too late.
  • Principal (08/02/2013, 18:34) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Myron's CEO and PS are 75 % of his problem he is the other 25%. School are lacking in the basic supplies. Many are understaffed. He starts so many project and none has come to fruition. His agenda is trying to out do Hon. Andrew Fahie instead of trying to find out the problems and solve them. Teacher moral is down in most school and his senior staff is aloof to the problems and lack the skills to solve them. They transfer people, victimize others and only when something hits the media he flies as if he was planning to do something. We are not fooled. Two and a half years from now you will not be spending and wasting taxpayers money and I'll be around to see you out of power. Take time and meet with the staffs of our school and get a full understanding of the chaos you are creating under the disguise of help.
  • Hmmmm (08/02/2013, 22:09) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am disgusted by some of these blogs. How can anyone with a little bit of sense blame the Minister of Education for the rats infestation at the school? I guess he must have bred the rats and put them in the roof so that he could "fix" the problem. These things were problems at this and other schools long before he was the minister. It is sad that when this like this happen we look to blame political parties.

    The safety and health of the children and teachers should be the focus. I'm glad that the PTA president took a stand for the school. Her concern is a valid one. The community need to start looking at ways they can help this and other schools instead of pointing fingers and placing blame. Make some positive suggestions instead of bashing persons, including the Minister of Education, who are trying to look out for the best interest of the students and teachers.
    • BREAKING NEWS (09/02/2013, 09:23) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      back @ Hmmmm: Who else would you blame fool? He jump on radio with his political rat race lying to the people that all is well when the teachers are crying out and fearful because of victimization. He is turning out to be the worse minister of education.

      Yes he playing VIP politics by handing out contracts and giving every tom, dick and harry $$$ from his assistant grants...but Myron is just not ready for prime time…he from the lower class!
  • Working in the trenches (09/02/2013, 05:54) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    The Minister has to bear the blame, he is responsible the the decisions in the Ministry for the last 14 months. His CEO and PS are aloof to the problems of the institution. The solutions are outside their scope of understanding. Who do we blame the captain or the sailors?
  • teacher john (09/02/2013, 14:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Let us ALL take care of our children. Foolish behavior and mistakes by one man Mr. Walwyn should not forever determine our destiny but rather teach lessons so has to redirect our destiny for a better life.

  • ------------- (09/02/2013, 14:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    April fool! Ohh we still in February...

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