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Fernander: Bahamas wrestling with child discipline

Following the controversy surrounding a photo circulating on social media of a private high school student’s bruised buttocks after allegedly being disciplined by a member of the faculty, Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) President Bishop Delton Fernander said yesterday that as a society The Bahamas is wrestling with how to discipline children.

Last week, a photo of the student’s purple, bruised buttocks went viral on social media.

Many were outraged.

To this, Fernander said he didn’t think any harm was meant in disciplining the student.

“I don’t think most times malice is the intent but we have to get better at how we discipline and what we do,” Fernander told reporters at Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

“One of the spinoffs that might be from this is the ability to have these conversations.

“…You can’t tell anybody what to do and how to do it, but you can educate someone.

“What I also realize is that as the church, I need to be a mediator.

“I don’t think it was his intent to harm that child, but obviously the ridges are there and the harm was done.

“If the church can be a mediator to bring peace to that… we want to help in that regard.

“The idea of going to court kind of implies that the intent was malicious and if the intent was not malicious, we are the peacemakers.”

Last week, Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd said that corporal punishment in schools should be administered as a last resort and can only be administered by an administrator in the presence of another administrator.

“This issue of corporal punishment being willy-nilly applied is something that is not sanctioned by the government and it is repudiated at every instance that it [does] occur, anywhere that it occurs,” Lloyd said.

“Our children are not to be abused. That is not the intention.

“That is not going to be accepted and any incident of abuse, whether it’s physical, moral, intellectual or otherwise, will be strictly met with the most vigorous resistance by this minister and the ministry.”

Fernander further suggested that before punishment is delivered to a child, the administrator of that punishment should calm down.

He said that often times adults pass on their frustration to children although they may not be the cause.

Laurent Rolle

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Laurent started at The Nassau Guardian in May 2018 as a paginator. He transitioned to reporting in February 2019. Laurent has covered multiple crime stories. He is the author of “Yello”, which was published in February 2019.
Education: Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) 3rd Year

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