BULLYING AND PHYSICAL ABUSE – THE TREND AT CLARKSON-VILLE ALL AGE IN THE 1970’S
By Winston Donald
The last two years had me reflecting on life at elementary school in St. Ann, the values and socialization and what affected or impacted our academic performance. By delving into the past and sharing the discussion for many of us who attended Clarkson-ville All Age School in the 1970’s , a constant concern and conversation pertaining to that era- was the trauma and fear experienced by those inflicting pains and abuse. I now want all those were responsible to apologize , to apologize for being the young Hitler they were and the physical abuse to their fellow classmates and students. I was shocked during the conversations that so many of us had these experiences.
Students at Clarkson-ville were severely bullied by a core group of tough bullies and physically abused by the Principal Mr. Guy Lemonious and his wife Mrs. Lemonious under the guise of discipline.
First the bullies were the same for nearly all of us of the early seventies: Brenton Campbell, his brother Len, Brenton’s cousin John , Junior Edwards, Enos Ingram, and Coaxie Barrett (Miss Hearty Barrett’s son). Fear and trepidation was apart of us encountering these six youths. The bullies were from homes where parents disregard or pretended their sons were incapable of hatching injury on their peers had a field day for several inflicting pain and creating psychological mayhem on others. Their parents also were the set who denied their sons were doing wrong to their class cohorts. In fact reporting these delinquents to their parents meant nothing. The girls also had their bullies, normally girls from homes in Cedar Valley but for this article , the concentration is on the abuse to the males at CAAS.
Wherever these men are , (and most if not all are resident in the UK and the USA, ) they must now own up to their misdeeds and anti-social behavior and wholeheartedly apologize to those they had hurt, particulary those who were in class with them between the years of 1969 to 1973. The Clarksonville All Age bullies acted disgustingly without regard to the physical and emotional welfare of their fellowmen. They had selfish and evil motive which precipated their action in beating up on others slapping and their delight for repeatedly slapping the heads of those of us whose parents had given us a low cut or “bald head” at the favourite barbers of the day Messrs: Newton Barrett, Headley Waugh and David Easington. Those who received their hair cuts from Waugh were in worst position for the bullying as Waugh’s shears and razors took the trim to the scalp. This made us more susceptible to bullies like Junior Edwards, Coaxie Barrett, Enos Ingram and Brenton Campbell. When other bullies took a break from inflicting injury, those mentioned would ensure students experienced a marathon of slapping from the hands.
Yes many of us complained to our parents while others like Oh My God, Jackie (Millford ) greaves was shocked to even report it to his beloved mother Miss Icy. Personally, on telling my grandma who seek audience with their parents , it was t no avail. The next month would be a repeat of the abuse. The bullies parents imparted no value of respect for others. One parent in particular, Mum Williams would deny her son was a rotten egg. Strangely the bullies were pathetic academic performers, some were what we refer to as “dunce”. The only consolation is when it was class exams and they know they had to copy from your books , then you discovered they become “comfy” to steal your answers, in fact, some openly begged you to show them the answer and promised not to harm you in the future.
Interestingly, very few bullies lasted to Grade 9. At the end of Grade 8, Barett, Campbell and Ingram had to go. They had spent their energies slapping and beating their peers so much that their school work suffered severely. Both numeracy and reading skills were inadequate for promotion to Grade 9. This was coupled up with many of them reaching 15 years old , even at Grade 7.
Lemonious abd his wife in his role as Maximum Principal and Maximum Vice Principal envisaged learning outcome and discipline as a function of the amount of “licks” administered to students. The couple invented the ideal mathematical function for beatings and Common Entrance result , which alarmingly was pathetic as no more than 2 students passed per year. To the Lemonious’s physical abuse was the template for teaching success. Their entire non charismatic persona was built on drilling for educational output with the canes and famous broad belt as the tools of motivation. To the Lemonious’s every wrong answer was welcomed with a caning and every misunderstanding a piece of “beating on your backside.” Strangely, Lemonious was not prompt or predisposed towards caning his mischievious and rotten behaving children Steve or Rollie.
Lemonious should answer to many of those children who he both scarred and scared. I personally am convinced wherever in Manchester he resides , he should find himself at some appropriate venue, perhaps, the good ole Baptist Church to answer to his coarse pschye in denying many from learning and from attending “Scholarship class” as a result of his physical abuse. I personally say, Lemonious , time for you to apologise not only to yesterday’s abused youths but to their parents and grandparents, dead and alive!!! In this regard , I shall be calling upon the Moravian Church which he serves to get a hearing from him. Just last year I nearly send him a list of names of students who are “vexed” to this day by the scores of caning he administered to poor village boys and girls also. What would cause a Principal to cane a young female student until she passed her urine? What would cause a Principal and his wife to beat a student by inflicting a dozen or more strokes of the cane? Do you call such physical beating discipline? Only the most backward society would tolerate getting 15 cane strokes as the norm.
We hope that todays’ students at Clarksonville All Age are not acquainted with what we had to undergo four decades ago or to face the degree of bullying and physical beatings by peers, teachers or educational stakeholders. Thank God we had strong Christian parents, otherwise we might have been psychologically scarred to this day.
Caning can never correct the ability to learn, rather understanding, care, commitment and diverse methods of teaching are the panacea for learning by those who are slow, who are late starters or simply ignorant to the method of instruction.
If there is anyone who can challenge this article , let he or she does so and do so with strong , accurate and factual rebuttal.
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