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UPDATE: ‘We did not send anybody home’ – ESHS Principal

- Social media blasts school for allegedly sending home over 70 students for not confirming to uniform policy
Principal of the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) Vanessa K. Garraway has denied that the school sent home students for violating the uniform policy. Photo: VINO/File
As the new school term commences in the Virgin Islands (VI), some 70 students at the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS)—mostly girls—were allegedly sent home yesterday, September 16, 2019, for uniform violations according to one irate relative of a student. Photo: Facebook
As the new school term commences in the Virgin Islands (VI), some 70 students at the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS)—mostly girls—were allegedly sent home yesterday, September 16, 2019, for uniform violations according to one irate relative of a student. Photo: Facebook
Hon Alvera Maduro-Canes, the Sixth District representative in the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA) said the education system is focusing on the wrong things. Photo: Facebook
Hon Alvera Maduro-Canes, the Sixth District representative in the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA) said the education system is focusing on the wrong things. Photo: Facebook
Social media users injecting humour into the situation reacted with GIF images, mocking the school's strict uniform policy. Photo: Facebook
Social media users injecting humour into the situation reacted with GIF images, mocking the school's strict uniform policy. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Principal of the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) Vanessa K. Garraway is insisting that having students adhere to the school’s uniform policy plays a pivotal role in inculcating disciplinary principles necessary for their future.

The principal and her staff have come under heavy criticism on social media for allegedly sending home more than seventy (70) female students, after a sweep was done on girls not complying with the uniform policy.

Students going to school with two skirts!

Ms Garraway said the matter is not honestly being represented on social media, while not accusing those involved as being malicious. She said the issue of the school’s administration sticking firmly to the uniform code was discussed with parents at orientation.

“At each orientation session we did check our uniform at that point. Some persons are saying that at that point they were not told anything and now we are telling them that skirts for sure are in violation of the code.”

The school took the decision on September 16, 2019 to do a uniform spot check of students of the senior level housed at the old CTL building in Pasea as it was observed that skirts were suddenly getting much shorter than they should be.

“We did a uniform spot check on some of the skirts….and what we did, we did not send anybody home, we called parents and we had a conversation with parents about the skirts.”

The ESHS Principal also said they have discovered girls rolling the waist of the skirts  to make it shorter after passing the security, while there are those who walk to school with very shorts ones in their bags and change in the school’s bathroom.

“We’ve even have students who have brought two skirts to school so they are ok when they enter the building but by the time they get inside, one was actually caught red handed in the bathroom changing the skirt.”

“So I am saying if we are going to have our students going to these lengths to wear a short skirt, it is something we need to address,” Ms Garraway stated.

‘We are preparing students for life beyond school’

Insisting that no one was sent home for uniform violation, Ms Garraway explained that there were instances where parents indicated that they would correct the skirts and some opted to have their child return home and remedy and return, “Some even agreed to have the helm dropped and some were done by their parents.

“While I understand everybody has their opinion and to some uniform has nothing to do with learning, I just want to added that as we are preparing students for everyday life, life beyond school, it gives them the chance to understand discipline. It also helps them to understand that rules are made to follow.”

According to Mrs Garraway, 90% of the parents have been very cooperative. She said that some requested time to fix and were advised to send a note if more time is needed in order for the security pass to be accommodated.

See previous article published September 17, 2019

Some 70 ESHS girls allegedly sent home for uniform violations

- relatives called situation 'discriminatory' & decried school's 'outdated policy'

Some 70 students of the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS)—mostly girls—were allegedly sent home yesterday, September 16, 2019, for uniform violations, according to one irate relative of a student.

Heated Facebook Debate 

The student, [name witheld] was allegedly sent home for a uniform violation where teachers said her skirt was 'too short', according to a relative, Esther N. Fraser who spoke to Virgin Islands News Online about the situation.

The issue was first brought to fore in the Facebook Group, the REAL BVI Community which has since garnered over 200 comments and well over 150 shares on the platform.

"What is really going on at ESHS?? This student was sent home today for her skirt. She was told it was too short... in the back. I was made to understand some 70+ students were sent home today. Now I'm not saying the rules shouldn't be enforced, but I can't see the violation," the irate relative posted as the caption to a photo of the students' uniform. 

Speaking exclusively to VINO, Ms Fraser said, "The student is a senior who wore the same skirt last week and was not told at any point that it was inappropriate. Yesterday, a teacher told her she had to go home because the back was too short." 

Verbal Attacks 

As of today, September 17, 2019, the post has now sparked a major online debate with several residents and even politicians joining the conversation.

One commenter, Nalin Sugrim said, "Before school open, [the] Ministry or teachers should have sent out messages to all they seamstress or tailers to make them girls skirts lengthwise or inform all parents months before the school open to do so, not 2 weeks after school children get sent home. Teachers should be blamed for it," she said. 

However, one teacher Hubert Wong noted, "Why are teachers being called out for this? Teachers don't make the rules. They just enforce them. I was at ESHS yesterday when the clampdown was in place and it concerned me that there were parents who chose to verbally abuse teachers and administrators in the presence of the students."

According to him, "I believe in dialogue in circumstances like this especially when the elements of the issue are borderline so I always encourage parents to ask the hard questions."

He called out parents for their attempt to publicly humiliate his colleagues, "When our parents do so in the presence of our children they are sending the very clear message that it is the correct thing to do," the teacher noted. 

Hon Alvera Maduro-Canes, the Sixth District representative in the Virgin Islands (VI) House of Assembly (HoA) said, "I received so many complaints and pictures over the past few weeks I tend to wonder what they looking at. Classrooms not properly furnished, schedules not ready... but you focusing on skirts... something is very wrong with our education system, The focus is on the wrong things."

Possible protest action 

VINO has since reached out to one top school official for a comment on the issue as it is unclear what is the school's uniform policy; however, no response was received up to publication time.

With the debate sill ongoing over the issue, Ms Fraser in a comment said, "This stops or we will be staging a protest. Discrimination against women must stop. Discrimination against girls shouldn't even start and certainly not in our schools.
We must stand up for them."

63 Responses to “UPDATE: ‘We did not send anybody home’ – ESHS Principal”

  • Hmmmmm (17/09/2019, 14:40) Like (90) Dislike (16) Reply
    this is distasteful the fact that offical Hon. Caines actually condone this kind of behavior. If it was the other government this would not be the case. smfh
    • mp (17/09/2019, 15:16) Like (57) Dislike (3) Reply
      Agreed. Plus where did she get such information from as pertaining to the schedule not ready. My child recieved the schedule the same day of orientation. Also, at orientation they were attire was inspected at the end of orientation.
      But I do agreed the parents should of been told about the re enforcing of the dress code in july/collection of report cards or before.
      Well if my child is required to adhere to the dress code. I will abide even thou it may seems senseless...everywhere have rules from daycares to work.
      • Trini (17/09/2019, 18:14) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
        As a parent it is true I waited with my child half the day and yet she did have a chair and desk to start her first year in school
        • So Trini (18/09/2019, 14:56) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
          @ Trini when you show up at the last hour to register and notify the Education System/ ESHS that your child that is what happens. Ayo must stop blame people and take the rap for them not being able to provide for a child that was not in their count because YOU ALL was NEGLEGANT PARENTS!
      • Clarification needed (17/09/2019, 21:17) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
        Looking at this photo I don't think the skirt is the issue. It appears to be the socks. Ankle socks are not permitted. Never have been. Its stated in the uniform guidelines.
    • watching (17/09/2019, 17:36) Like (50) Dislike (1) Reply
      Caines always talking some nonsense as there is nothing she can do to help. She has been a member of government for how many years and often takes to facebook, even when she was in govt to complain. Do something please woman or get out of the seat
    • VOTER #6 (18/09/2019, 10:37) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
  • wise up (17/09/2019, 14:49) Like (30) Dislike (1) Reply
    Think the parent and student didn’t know ability the rules before come on, todays world student goes to school to compete with each or their as a teacher there RULES WAS ALWAYS IN PLACE BUT NOT ENFORCED.
  • lololll (17/09/2019, 15:05) Like (16) Dislike (4) Reply
    That photo with the nun at the bottom, im literally dying with laughter lololll
  • ZZZZ (17/09/2019, 15:21) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well sah
  • reason (17/09/2019, 15:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    In the past seamstress and tailors were given notices , information on how the uniforms are to be presented in school when the child wears them. It appears that it did not take place this time.
  • media vultures (17/09/2019, 15:30) Like (19) Dislike (23) Reply
    How does VINO find all these little things and make it news?... I swear this website just be looking for contravercy all the time.
    • learn to spell (17/09/2019, 15:55) Like (13) Dislike (8) Reply
      You need to learn how to spell and stop looking for attention.
    • Dunce (17/09/2019, 17:41) Like (14) Dislike (22) Reply
      What is 'contravercy'? this is what happens when tola people want to use big words and can't spell.
      • SMH (18/09/2019, 07:38) Like (18) Dislike (5) Reply
        @Dunce How you know the individual that misspelled the word is from Tola? Sometimes some you all comments shows how you despised Tolians, but you can't do with out Us. BOOYA!
        • Hmm (19/09/2019, 05:19) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
          I agree 1000%. There is nothing in the comment posted by "media vultures" that says or even suggests that he/she is from Tola. Dunce is truly what the name suggests. Dunce is truly a big xenophobic DUNCE!
  • watching (17/09/2019, 15:32) Like (55) Dislike (10) Reply
    Rules are rules . Laws are laws . Maybe not the best procedure to enforce the rule but lets learn from it . Parents .... just shut up !!!!!
  • parent (17/09/2019, 15:36) Like (55) Dislike (0) Reply
    This has been going on for years nothing new and these other parents acting like this is the first time hearing this

    Sooo After high school and my child go looks a job and the HR says to wear purple uniform and she show up in green and red...
    I have no reason to complain when they send her ass home for not abiding to the rules

  • Small Island small mentality (17/09/2019, 15:42) Like (9) Dislike (62) Reply
    Send all those involved in making such ridiculous rules home. Too much time wasted on matters that are least important on the list. Let the kids wear their skirts, and focus on other relevant things.

    1. Inspecting attire at assembly. Unbelievable, nonessential...

    2. “Teacher told girl her skirt is too short.” This teacher need to leave that to administration. Focus on Pedagogy just for example, the list is good numerous.

    3. Politicians KEEP out...hence the reason Education is so messy in the BVI. Whether you’re for or against allow those directly involved to do their jobs.

    It is very sad to witness the standards of Education that is given to those students. The things that take high priority. And the way natives, and foreigners bash and tear down.
    • Guest (17/09/2019, 19:33) Like (22) Dislike (3) Reply

      You sound like a jack-@$% that never been off this rock... Those rules are world over.....

  • focus (17/09/2019, 15:42) Like (7) Dislike (71) Reply
    The focus here with the new Principal is not on education. It seems to be on the children's dress. Rather she should have concentrated on the gross errors she made with the class schedules. Sixth form children had students assigned to subjects with teachers who had left the institution over two years ago. What gross nonsense is that. Is she playing now that the children are preparing to write exams? Why is she so concerned with dress and hair and nails and shoes. This crap is totally unbelievable. This woman should be removed immediately.
    • focus yuh mother (17/09/2019, 21:58) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply

      f****n clown

      • oh? (18/09/2019, 10:38) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
        The idiot must be yours. You were only educated to use nasty words. Is that all she taught you?
    • parent (18/09/2019, 10:26) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
      This is utter nonsense. These rules were always a part of the ESHS. You all need to stop. If the children are allowed to continue with this attitude, what do you expect when they enter the work force? Why school girls should be allowed in school with big, colourfull hair styles and long painted nails? It is a learning institution and not a fashion show. Parents teach your children to respect their educators and to abide by the rules sent in place whether they like them or not.
  • Observer (17/09/2019, 15:42) Like (70) Dislike (3) Reply
    It’s a public school where you recieve free education. If you want to dress how you want go private schools. It’s called abiding by the rules simple......You people are ridiculous getting s777 free and still complaining because you can’t do what you want... the principal and ministers would be fools to take this one on
  • Anonymous (17/09/2019, 15:48) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    this is much to do about nothing
  • money (17/09/2019, 16:57) Like (24) Dislike (2) Reply
    Well the school should consider the girls wearing pants like baughers bay the uniforms is nice
  • BVI High School Alumini (17/09/2019, 17:12) Like (10) Dislike (6) Reply
    I see no problem with the skirt, that is the length we wore in the 70's and 80's. Principal please enforce in the proper way not what I am seeing right now on line. This one I don't agree with this one.
  • BVI High School Alumini (17/09/2019, 17:12) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    I see no problem with the skirt, that is the length we wore in the 70's and 80's. Principal please enforce in the proper way not what I am seeing right now on line. This one I don't agree with this one.
  • bvi (17/09/2019, 18:58) Like (8) Dislike (31) Reply
    We love u Alvera....
  • take to bank (17/09/2019, 19:40) Like (12) Dislike (15) Reply
    Jump high jump low you not going to get the VIP OUT OF OFFICE
  • Common Sense (17/09/2019, 19:49) Like (2) Dislike (9) Reply
    you have only soo much uniform vendors in the BVI. they them selves were not informed for prepared for the uniform dress code. Parents are on waiting list to have skirts purchased or altered. GOSH gave them a grace period to get their act together, remember this information should have been relayed to all parents at the end of the last school term. Then we wonder why the private schools are always on top.
    • ??? (18/09/2019, 10:28) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      This issue has nothing to do with the uniform vendors. Customers purchase what size and length they want.
      On another note. Just some time after 2.00pm yesterday Tuesday, Observed a female student walking through the bushes below the staff parking lot adjacent to Tico. I asked myself why is she going through there at this time? It appeared that she
      might have been alone but I noticed that she started to talk. So apparently she was not alone. Just a curious observation that needs to be followed up by the powers that be for ESHS at CTL
  • In the scheme of things (17/09/2019, 21:49) Like (25) Dislike (6) Reply
    Caines on Facebook reminds me of how Trump is on Twitter. Talking a roll of Sh*+.You could imagine Hon Caines as the minister responsible for education, and saying things like they focusing on the wrong things. Uniform and proper dress code is a big part of a students preparation for the work world. Even when ministers go in to the house of Assembly they have a dress code I am sure.
  • Hmm (18/09/2019, 00:59) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    @focus youre one big old a@@. School children should look like school children. Some big old hair do, eyebow will fix up etc etc. Society is what killing these school chidren in the BVI. Parents complete with one another for their child/children. Go down in the caribbean and you will see. Even in Jamacia, the children wear some long skirt and dress you frighten. Convent school, not one extra color can be added to what the school set, otherwise that child will not enter that school gate. Fix them principal, let they dress like school children. The scchool need a standard please fix them.
  • me again (18/09/2019, 02:28) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    Simple ! Who don’t agree . TAKE your child out and send them PRIVATE SCHOOL . Simple as that
  • mikkkk (18/09/2019, 02:57) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    I mean, there are rules, these must be followed...
    • Hmmm (18/09/2019, 07:38) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply
      The most important thing in Education and success is descipline.. The System recognized the parents have failed.... It has to be enforced.. All over the Caribbean its the same issue one High school in Jamaica send home like 300 students for the same reasons. When I look at these students its like they going to carnival. Every one had a different colour bag pack over their back. ..diferrent colour shoes it looked ridiculous. Then I said maybe for high schools bag pack need to reduce to 3 colours blue black n brown...
  • voice (18/09/2019, 04:34) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rather than all the back and forth, a meeting should be called by the principal inviting all parents and education authorities( Chief Ed.Officer, Minister for Education ect. The rules on uniform must be discussed. Length of skirt, socks and any other relavent factor related to the school,s rules. When the rule is broken communicate with the parent. Let the parent come and get the child. Remember the school is responsible for that child until he or she gets home.
  • Darlene (18/09/2019, 06:17) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    If I remember correctly, the rule was/is, that the skirt should be 2 inches below the knee. Has that changed?
  • Advice (18/09/2019, 06:18) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply

    Lavera you make my heart sick to the bone and always one to break the law. imagine you on here talking sh** and when you had the chance to talk you said nothing . Please tell the people which schedule is not ready and tell them which classrooms are not furnished. You need to stop. I wonder what you're going to say should the rules for Physical Education be enforced.

  • Drop the ball (18/09/2019, 06:27) Like (2) Dislike (7) Reply
    Alvara wants the kids to dress to kill.
  • Books and pen (18/09/2019, 06:37) Like (1) Dislike (10) Reply
    Free the students yall
  • These Parents (18/09/2019, 07:27) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    Full of excuses. Please. OMG. No wonder the young people are out of control. They are the ones running the homes... These are not new. They are just been enforced. Every parent knows how a child should dress going to school.. Strupes. These parents. Lord help us.
  • Lead by example (18/09/2019, 08:20) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
    These modern day teachers and principals should also set example with their dress code for work. SUPER tight pants, extremely short skirts suits and these nasty tattoos visible for young people to admire. Madam Principal get your entire house in order, so these young people would have positive ro models.
  • it's a dam shame (18/09/2019, 09:34) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    I watched Mrs.Canes ranting on Social Media over the festival activities and talking about something that came out. When I called and asked about it,to my surprise what she was talking had no truth to it. is this what your elected to do Mrs. Canes? running around talking things that you don't not have any info on. As a member of the house of assembly and government. it is your job to defend but please stop making yourself look like a mule and get the facts straight first. thanks.
  • Get offended or not (18/09/2019, 10:43) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply

    I still don’t understand....That girl’s skirt obviously had a decent length. It’s impossible to meet a UNIFORM VIOLATION with that length. How long do you want the skirt to be? Covering the the sole of your shoes?

    These “officials” have an issue concerning the skirt length of these girls, and they hot no r@$$. Why they don’t have a seat from drinking rum and taking the people dem man over the summer. You think I ain’t see y’all?? Especially that holy one. Talking about God and the gospel and you down the road clubbing. Wukin up. Doing 6:30 and all kinda craziness.

    Get offended or not, I couldn’t care less. Not everyone liked Jesus, so who am I to care?

  • no nonsense (18/09/2019, 11:27) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    It's so strange, these rules have been there from time fowl cock had teeth. Now dem talking piddle! This is why most local students have issues when the leave the BVI. They have to follow rules and cannot survive. This is exactly what ESHS is training them for indirectly but parents want to have their way to run things in schools and degrade government and the institutions . Most times these are the same parents who do the school work here and overseas to make the children look good. Always refusing to letting the children be responsible.
  • HAHA (18/09/2019, 11:59) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply

    Anywhos, the rules ae the rules! Follow them and stop complaining.

  • @ no nonsense (18/09/2019, 13:03) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    You sound soo stupid. When you have too much of a tight rope around children's neck that's when they go overboard when they go off to college. Soo much examples of this, if their not pregnant they paint their hair all different colors, put holes every where on their bodies and tattoos all over their A...$$
  • Uniforms (18/09/2019, 14:11) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Similar attire like uniforms is just a fact of life. The younger a person becomes familiar with uniforms the better. However uniforms need to change with the times so probably it is time for an update to a more modern school uniform for BVI students. Pants or slacks for teenage girls at school is more sensible than these ancient pleated skirts with variable hem lengths.
  • dude (18/09/2019, 15:20) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Elmore Stoutt expelled how many students for uniforms and you all gave him praises & renamed the HS after him. What's the issue?
  • Real Thing (18/09/2019, 19:12) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Let's see if Honorable Caines is going to wear a shorts to the next meeting of the house.
    One should oppose with some sense of sensibility and not just for the sake of opposing.
  • Good policy (19/09/2019, 13:59) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    We complain regularly about the lawless, undisciplined BVI youth, but when the Educators want to instill discipline and basic decency at school, we have a problem with that too. What do you really want? When I come to work if I do not adhere to workplace policies I will be asked to leave and return with the matter rectified. This will help prepare the youth for the real world.

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