Thwaites unhappy with protestors over Tivoli Gardens High uniform length

Thwaites unhappy with protestors over Tivoli Gardens High uniform length

Friday, September 19, 2014

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EDUCATION Minister Ronnie Thwaites has expressed disappointment over Wednesday's protest by a group of female students from the Tivoli Gardens High School who staged a protest in front of his ministry's Heroes' Circle headquarters.

The students, accompanied by some parents, were irate that they were locked out of school because their uniforms were too short and did not meet the requirements of the institution.

"I am very disappointed that grade seven students decided to stage a protest. Whatever the cause, I don't think that is something that young students should be involved in," Thwaites told the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday.

The students contended that their tunics were at a reasonable length and that the Tivoli High School administration was being unreasonable.

One mother was most upset and expressed to ministry officials, who had given them audience, her disgust at having to leave work after finding that her child was denied access to the Industrial Boulevard-based school.

However, Thwaites did not side with the demonstrators although calling for reasonable standards to be set by schools.

"I believe that the rules of the school, which parents and students have signed to, must be adhered to. Secondly, principals and school administrators must be reasonable," he said.

The students were given audience with Acting Deputy Chief Education Officer Maxine Headlam.

A member of staff at Tivoli Gardens High said the school had informed parents and students of the requirements for uniforms since the end of the last school year.

Apart from Tivoli Gardens High, Jonathan Grant, Holy Childhood and Jose Marti, all require their female students to wear uniforms at almost ankle length.

— Karyl Walker

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