OBA Suggests Temporarily Easing Requirements

September 3, 2012

The OBA’s Shadow Minister of Education, Dr. Grant Gibbons has expressed concerns that because of Bermuda’s “deteriorating economy and job losses, some parents of school-age children are having a particularly hard time out-fitting them for school this year.”

Dr. Gibbons said, “Having heard from parents and constituents, as well as my colleagues in the One Bermuda Alliance, I would like to suggest that the Minister and the Department of Education give some thought to temporarily easing the uniform requirements. For example, instead of requiring expensive items like blazers, regulation sweaters could suffice as an alternative.

“I know schools like to make sure their students present a uniform and disciplined appearance, and I certainly approve most of the time. However, after three years of a depressed economy and increasing unemployment with no recovery in sight, there seems to be a good and special reason to show some flexibility this year.

“We hope the schools will be able to tighten uniform requirements back up again next year, should the economy begin to stabilize.

“I understand that some PTAs and charitable organizations have also organized recycling and exchange programmmes for second-hand school uniforms and we applaud their efforts in giving parents less expensive options and a helping hand.”

Update: For anyone wishing to make a contribution to assist parents, there is an article here on the “Each One Reach One Back To School” programme being run by Gina Spence which provides information on how to help.

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Comments (51)

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  1. St. George says:

    What’s wrong with wearing uniforms from last year, if the fit? Dr. Gibbons is the CEO of a big big business in Bermuda, including Woman shop/gibbons company. Why don’t they offer to donate uniforms to the needy. Why isn’t the additional 5% pay cut the MPs are withholding from their salaries go towards this cause? They the OBA can come up with some not front burner complaints, with easy solutions if they just put their collective thinking hats on; but instead just to get political mileage, will run to the free press.

    • Dr. Gibbons = UBP don't trust says:

      Let Craig or Bob talk to your black voters. I know your the OBA’s Shadow Minister of Education, stop politricking. Then again do what you do best and walk around with that stupid fake smile on your face when I see you in Gibbons Company. Why did you leave the UBP anyway……..oh I forgot to win the black vote. NVM

      Hey Doc do you know how many kids now days are running around with Samsung Galaxy, i pads or Apple phones? The cost to run those phones and tablets are like $100 upwards a month….why not say something real, like telling all the parents to take their kids electronic devices from them from now to the election. Now that would save money.

  2. St. George says:

    “if they Fit” – we can’t afford new uniforms and will be recycling the ones from last year. SMDH – go to “the BARN-indales”. Most schools have and share in good shape uniforms. On one hand they speak of how we should not be bringing up our children to be materialistic and out of the other side of their mouths making school about new clothes instead of solid academics. Its thoughts like Dr. Gibbons and the lot of them that are sending this country the wrong message. He can’t be seeking sales for Gibbons and Co, you think? NO not even him?

  3. Unbelievable & Sick N Tired!!!! says:

    Dr. Gibbons please be for real and stop the electioneering at the risk of our children in the public school system. Over the past three years as you state parents are concerned about the cost of school uniforms . . . really????? Let me inform you of some facts that exist in our schools with our children and parents:

    1. Our children are coming to school with Helly Hanson Jackets that costs upward of $175.00. Parents can’t afford a blazer that costs $75.00?

    2. Our children are coming to school with name brand tennis shoes that costs upward of $100.00 a pair. Parents can’t afford a tie. school shirt etc.

    3. Our children are buying lunch on a daily basis at $6 – $7 a day; $30 – $35 a day; $120 – $140 a month, but our parents can’t afford school uniforms.

    4. Our children are coming to school with money on a daily basis to buy food and junk at local stores. Our parents can’t afford what?

    Please, please STOP!!!!!!!!!!!! This kind of pacification only encourages parents and students not to follow rules and have their priorities in all the wrong places!!!!!!

    Our children have to learn rules and structure, as well as what priorities are. and our parents have to lead by example; hence our politicians need to lead parents and stop talking foolish in order to get votes . . . PLAIN AND SIMPLE!!!!!!!!!!

    • whatever says:

      Wow, that’s a bit harsh. I am guessing that you are not struggling from paycheck to paycheck??

      But be aware of this: for every 10 kids who show up to school in Helly Hanson jackets and brand name tennis shoes, there are 1 or 2 whose families are struggling to make ends meet (as in putting dinner on the table vs paying rent vs getting cable) – and they’re the ones for whom a small savings on school supplies can make a big difference. Do you have friends who are working 2, or maybe 3, jobs to try and make their life better?? I do… and I admire them for it. I wish they had it easier. Giving them a small break is not about politics, it’s about community.

      For the record, I don’t care if it’s the PLP or the OBA who proposed this, it’s just a good idea for at least the short term.

      Forget about the 90+% and think about the 5-10% who would really benefit from savings in school supplies. They are out there!

      • Unbelievable & Sick N Tired!!!! says:

        Please don’t get it wrong “whatever” . . . I have been a single mother since I was 24 years old and have raised two children on my own physically, emotionally and FINANCIALLY!!!!!!!!!!!! I can truly empathize with the 1 or 2 to the 10 kids whose parent/s are struggling . . . to that end, schools go to great extent to help parents that are struggling whether it’s from the PTA or school funds or from donations!!!!!!!!!

        Please check your facts before you generalize . . . because the school’s do go over and beyond for that 5 – 10%!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Unbelievable & Sick N Tired!!!! says:

        Please be clear, I have been in the shoes of those mother’s who find it difficult as I have been a single mother since I was 24 years old and have supported my children physically, emotionally and FINANCIALLY on my own.

        The reality is as a single mother, you learn to budget, sacrifice and plan!!!!!!! Schools provide assistance for those 1 or 2 families who are struggling to make ends meet. Whether it comes from the PTA, donations or school funds they do lend the assistance to the 5 to 10% who need it.

        Please check your facts before you make generalizations. For the record if Dr. Gibbons wants to lend assistance, why doesn’t he petition his family business to give away school supplies and uniforms?

        Now that’s real talk and putting his money where his mouth is!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Unbelievable & Sick N Tired!!!! says:

        Oh, and I forgot . . . you all should see the LOST and FOUND boxes/bins at schools and the PTB where our children lose shoes, sweater, blazers, ties and everything else and never ever even look for them. They go uncollected month by month and year by year!!!!!!!!!!

    • I have to reply here and hopefully speak as a parent of two children in the public school and have a wife that has no job due to be made redundant almost two years ago and I myself being self employed,I totally agree with Dr. Gibbons and I dont speak as a supporter of the O.B.A or the P.L.P but a really concerned Bermudian,there are many that are in my position and worst off then my family and really can not afford the luxuries that others have as stated above,we make the sacrifices were we need to and the total truth is that when we take into account the cost of keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table I really do not know how some Bermudians are really surviving.

      Needless to say those children that have these expensive items that you speak about I can not comment who their parents financial status bu clearly know my and what I do not have and what I presently can not do,so I am not going to sit here and be a proud Bermudian and pretend everything is alright here in paradise when it is not,Dr. Gibbons and Gibbons company and every other business in Hamilton cannot afford to give away merchandise when they find it hard to keep their doors open and staff employed,who without their jobs will become like some of us,not to mention that even the majority of middle class Bermuda is having it hard to keep their head above water,you cant even fill your gas tank up full in this country any more due to the over pricing of fuel.

      Some may fill their tanks while others dont have the funds to do so,that is just a few areas in which a good number of people are being effected,we take for granted sometimes that because some one like Dr.Grant Gibbons and his family has done well for themselves down through the years and they look as if they do not have a thing to worry about,that we can continue to take pot shots at those like them that we think have it all,but wont look right across the board and accept the injustice that we as a people allowed on ourselves.

      Such as over pricing from everything in life that is consider our basic needs,housing,food,transportation,education health cost and we continue to allow our selves to believe that the 150% to 400% mark up in all these things are o.k,and who gives the green light for all this.WE DO WHEN WE DO NOT CHALLENGE OUR GOVERNMENT ADMINSTRATION,civil servants are the worse of the bunch,so next time you want to challenge your leaders or opposition do your home work and come flying with facts.debt is killing our country and its people but it is because of greed on the almighty dollar and nothing else,all being done to us by and through the hands of fools.this may sound harsh to some but in reality you tell me why the jobless rate is growing bigger and bigger and the bank rates are not being controlled and the is not a ceiling being put on rents and mortgages and food.yet we hear when it is time for a raise the leaders including the civil servants do not have to beely ache like the private sector.

  4. Beam me up Sparky says:

    And changing West Pembroke School uniform has really helped those parents. Doesn’t the Ministry of Education have more pressing things to spend their time one ?

  5. More BS says:

    The correct tile should read “UBP/OBA suggests temporarily easing requirements” ; )

  6. dumbfounder says:

    Did dr. gibbons write this? can’t be. This is scraping the bottom of the bucket. Unbelievable. Wake up Bermuda, smell the roses.

  7. kevin says:

    How come he did not ask retailers to reduce their prices and ask his own company to lead by example? How come he is making this suggestion the week before school starts when parents will have already bought what they could afford?How come he did not suggest that duty rates for school uniforms be reduced or waived completely? There must be an election coming soon!

    • Mad Dawg says:

      In Gibbons Co last week there was a sale on children’s clothes. I got pj’s, school shirts, pants, for two kids, and spent less than $50. Perhaps you don’t buy clothes in sales.

      Why isn’t this a good idea? Wouldn’t easing off on uniforms potentially make life a bit easier for struggling parents who have lost their jobs?

      I thought PLP people liked helping the less well-off. I guess, when it comes to it, they actually don’t.

  8. Solidarity says:

    Wow! In a few weeks time when kids are sent home for not having the “correct” uniform the same bloggers will say how wrong it is… I don’t think that this statement has anything to do with making sales for Gibbons. Further, I think he is right – in today’s bermuda we have to have some sympathy for those parents and students who are struggling for a roof over their heads and food in their lunch boxes. If our dear premier had said this the same bloggers would be applauding her… I just don’t understand the intolerance and negativity to his statement. Please somebody enlighten me without using the words black, white, PLP, UBP, or OBA…

  9. Pure Madness!!!! says:

    There should be a little leeway given for the school uniform, for those parents who are struggling. Especially for those parents of students going into M2 where the school has decided to change the school uniform (Whitney) and the previous uniform still fits and is in good condition. Something needs to be done about that….

  10. Whistling Frog says:

    Yeah right… Yet every child from the age of 7 yrs and older has a cellphone or an ipod… hmmm! Just saying…

  11. For those obvious non-business minded.... says:

    For those that comment on Dr. Gibbons, and other businesses to “lead by example” and reduce prices in order to help in these trying times, need to shut up and think! The main purpose of a business is to make money, point blank! How is any company, struggling to maintain their normal business operation, going to automatically slash prices for their inventory, which has been paid for prior to hitting shelves, and expect businesses to survive? Really?!?! Do any of the ppl who commented on that issue know the slightest margin between the cost and profit margin is in the retail sector? I am sure that if one did, they wouldn’t suggest such foolishness!

    I can understand if any of the retailers received bargain box priced inventory and sold them for a reduced rate, but I assure you that the Walton’s have not yet landed on our shores!

  12. Vote for Me says:

    All
    The basic suggestion about easing school uniform requirements may be well intended but it misses a fundamental aspect of school uniforms.

    The fundamental aspect relates to the immense peer pressure that will result if all children are not required to wear the same uniforms. The most immediate impact is that the children that our out of uniform will be labelled as ‘poor’ and possibly teased for the balance of the school year. This may then result in poor grades and inconsistent attendance as the children struggles to cope with the teasing. At the other end, you may have increased bullying as some children may choose to respond in a physical manner. We can also imagine the increased pressure of trying to decide what to wear each day if we are not in full uniform.

    The reality is that more and more parents will be struggling financially to provide school uniforms etc. In those cases, they should make themselves known to the school since in many cases the school PTAs and area churches have confidential programs to provide assistance.

    In SOME cases, we do have to recognise that we need assistance in budget priorities since some of the children that do not have the full uniform, do have name brand ‘everything’, cell phones and buy lunch every day.

    • JCS says:

      I totally agree Vote for Me. To have all of the kids dressed the same saves money, and defeats peer pressure.

  13. tricks are for kids says:

    Personally I feel that school uniforms SHOULD NOT BE EXPEMSIVE!!!!!!! EVERY child in Bermuda once they reach the age of 5 until they are at least 16 years of age wears a uniform to school be it Public, Private or Home School…WHY do they have to be so pricey? English Sports Shop being the MAIN SUPPLIER followed by Gibbons Company…These establishments KNOW that the uniforms will sell because students HAVE TO wear them so why the huge markup??

    “Unbelievable…” is not far off when she tells you what some of these parents “willingly” pay for instead of the necessary for their children…I see it everyday….I have even heard a parent say that she cannot possibly get a school blazer because she is taking her children on a shopping trip overseas!!!! go figure!! Mind you there is a flip side to that as well as you do have SOME parents who really can’t afford it and like “Unbelievable….” mentioned there are agencies, the PTA and private organisations that offer assistance in this area.

    In order to see our way out of this economic mess we are fnding ourselves in WE ALL MUST WORK TOGETHER and yes WE MUST SACRIFICE along the way…

    Landlords need to realise that NO YOU ARE NOT going to get the same rents that you did six or seven years ago and YES your apartment will REMAIN EMPTY if you don’t shave a couple of hundred dollars off…YOU may not be able to do that but hey no one is going to afford your rent either…so do you want your place empty making NO MONEY or at least have someone occupy your home and making SOME MONEY…..
    Grocery Store owners…EVERYONE needs to eat (it is not a want)..the price of groceries need not be so high….(places like Lindos…Parking Lot FULL EVERYDAY)

    Clothing Stores…If you want your goods to sell there’s no need to mark your clothing up to (for eg.) $90 for a shirt that you can get in Target for $7.99….it’s going to stay on your shelf…..

    To the Bankers work with EVERYONE and not just those that you CHOOSE to work with (You can’t say that you work with EVERYONE either because I have seen correspondence between yourselves and individuals that are about to lose their homes)…

    I could go on but I’m going to stop right there for the time being ( I’ll touch on Belco another day) but you get the picture I’m sure….To the GOVERNMENT OF BERMUDA..it is YOU that can stop this..it is a mess the YOU created it is time to GIVE BACK to Bermuda and offer some REAL TAX RELIEF to the people…..WE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO CONTINUE TO SUFFER BECAUSE OF YOUR OVERSPENDING!!!!!!!!

  14. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    Unfortunately folks , this will become the new normal .

    • The Fact says:

      Thats not what your Premier thinks, “The economic recovery has begon” or something like that … SMH

      I TOTALLY agree with you. I am preparing my family for the new normal as all this will remain the same for some years to come no matter who is in government. We still want to buy a house but there is no rush to take advantage of the lower prices as they will remain low for quite some time.

  15. Grey Dog says:

    Anybody know the names of any charities that are helping out with this? Or who to contact at Family Services? It would make it easier those of us who want to help by donating money or clothes. I know a few years back there was a charity that was putting together backpacks with school supplies. Anyone know their name?

    If you have any info post it. Let’s put our shoulders to the wheel and help these little ones and their parents out.

  16. CHEEKUMS BI says:

    <===struggling to make ends meet and the school uniform is designed this way to keep our future children in the mindset of being professional and looking professional while working, you know Mr. Gibbons that the majority your speaking about is young black children, because those who attend Saltus and mount st Agnes and Warwick academy have parents that can afford a blazer, what Mr. Gibbons is asking or suggesting is that we establish a distinct class of poor from non poor and he wants that to be visible and does not want people to have any dignity.
    Why wouldn’t you suggest that Retailers LOWER THEIR PRICES and that they don’t have to charge 200% on merchandise 27 dollars for 1 white school shirt 75 dollars for a blazer when we can go to Wal-Mart and get at least 3 school shirts and 2 blazers for that price and be good when going through customs,

    RETAILERS AND PEOPLE THAT OWN THE BUILDINGS THAT THE RETAILERS ARE IN, SHOULD BE ASKED IF THEY CAN LOWER THEIR PRICES that way Mr. Gibbons it is fair for ALL Bermudians and you’re not making children and parents stand out as people who cannot afford clothes and parents get to keep their dignity.
    And a child that is taught to look professional and to be professional can grow up to be a professional, but then again it was the OBA/UBP that screwed up the school system and made these mega high schools with more drop outs and less grads every year..well done -_-

    • @Cheekums BI says:

      I am one of those Black children of a single parent home who attended private school (Warwick Academy) where uniform codes are either as strict or stricter than public school, and I can speak from experience when I say that Dr. Gibbons is referring to everyone. Just because people are white does not mean that they are not having the same struggles as everyone else. You would be foolish to believe that because people go private school and are white that they aren’t making the same sacrifices as blacks in the same predicament. I’ve seen people of every race at The Barn prior to school going in looking for the same items. How many white families do you see driving beat up cars, their kids have on scruffy docksiders from 2 years ago and their school clothes not in the best condition. Quite a few actually, but those parents have their priorities in order. Their bills are paid, they are saving for their kid’s high school/college tuition instead of buying a new car every 3 years, their children wear hand me downs etc. Some Blacks have just become too proud to say that their priorities have become skewed and screwed and need to stop being prideful/materialistic and get on with it. If you know your child needs a blazer by November, and this is June, you should be able to come up with a plan so that your child has that within the 5 months. That’s what parents do. I do not believe Dr. Gibbons had race on his mind when he said this. Parents have to make sacrifices all the time and I know some children with one set of gym clothes and two sets of regular uniform and their mother buffs that uniform up so no one even knows that they don’t have enough for the 5 school days. As long as the child looks presentable and adheres to the rules, that parent is doing his or her job. And this was before the economic downturn, that was almost the norm. All I know is that Bermudians were more resilient and less materialistic at one point, maybe we need to get back to that because there will always be the have’s, the have not’s and those in between. I do feel that the costs of things are high, but really that’s not something anybody of authority wants us to have a say in. That’s reality.

      • CYGNET says:

        @Cheekums BI. I so agree with what you have written and applaud you for presenting facts. I know many a mom or family with a mom and dad that come home daily and wash and dry the only or two uniforms for their children as they cannot afford 5. I know of lots of gym clothes that are Febreezed to take out the odour until they are washed at the end of the week. Hopefully through your sharing some of the “materialistic” “I donot buy 2nd hand stuff” parents pay attention. And donot get me started on the expensive phones, ipads etc. If needed get a simple cellphone plan to just say mom or dad I am home, at school etc. All the best in your endeavours.

  17. Johnny says:

    How about a little leeway on other things too like food and gas?

  18. freedom says:

    To all the people saying why doesn’t Dr Gibbons give school supplies away…. NOTHING COMES FOR FREE!!!! that is the biggest problem in Bermuda today. Nowhere else in the world do you get things for free, yes financial support is provided to those who need it. He runs a business not a charity!

  19. Kiskadee says:

    parents can do the following even if you are not short of money
    Teach your children how to be careful with money
    Make them a nutritious lunch each day and don’t just hand out money for lunch or junk food
    There is no need for them to have cell phones etc.I get so angry when I see these young kids walking everywhere with a cell phone to their ear.
    Children do not need the most expensive clothing and shoes. pass clothing on to other children
    Go to school uniform shops and buy second hand uniforms or go to the Barn. The clothes are in good condition and there should be no shame in wearing clothing other children have grown out of. prices of school uniforms at English Sports shop are ridiculous
    Gibbons company had a good sale but we can’t expect them to give clothes away—- they have a business to run

  20. Triangle Drifter says:

    Easing on uniform requirement, bad idea. Watch all these kids of so called poor folk start coming to school in all kinds of designer clothing. It is bad enough that they have the latest Iphone with unlimited this & that (money seems to be found for that)

    To those who think that retail is so profitable, open your own uniform shop & get a reality check.

  21. Real Talk says:

    I’m all for being caring and compassionate at a time when many people are struggling but think the focus should be on how collectively we can provide uniforms for those children in need as opposed to lowering the expectation that all children come to school in the correct attire.

    We have lowered the bar across the board for one reason or another.

    How difficult is it to ensure that all children have the basic school uniform and supply requirements vs. relaxing the rules because of hardship. It’s a lot more difficult to enforce once they have already been relaxed.

  22. Think First says:

    Its amazing to see the very short minded people in Bermuda!

    I am a single adult, living on my own with no kids, I am a civil servant and I have an opinion. In many ways I agree, prices in Bermuda shouldn’t be so high. I thought a few years ago I was making “good” money but as the economy has changed and prices have risen, I’ve found myself in the struggling boat with many others. I go to the grocery store and cringe when I look at the prices and almost faint when I see my final tally…again I am single and live alone. I can only imagine how difficult it is for those single parents or even those two parent homes with one working member.

    I do not agree that retailers should be giving their products away, because like a few previous commentors have said, EVERYONE in Bermuda is struggling, some worse than others but we are all taking a hit. I hear people saying go to PTAs or charities or churches, but no one has mentioned that these same groups that are doing everything they can to help are struggling to meet the demand. The charities have always had a few hundred people on their lists to help, but these days they have thousands….big difference.

    Yes there are many spoiled children out there, who have beyond their means but those children have parents or godparents or grandparents who keep them “trending”. Before you speak on what kids have these days, think about who may be getting it for them.

    Yes we do need to band together and help those who may need help. Its simple to help, you know those extra water bottles you have in your cabinets, that you never use…don’t throw them away, give them away. Those canned foods at the back of your cabinet that are way dusty, clear them out and find a charity that gives away food. I don’t have money to give away (and that is me saying this as a single person living alone), so I find other ways to help those in need.

    Stop looking for people to place blame on or even hold the responsibility, but look for solutions to assist who, when, where and how you can!!!

    • LMAO says:

      believe you me the only ones making money is the GIBBONS & DUNKLEYS – that’s the bottom line truth! the new rich Richards and non union gas stations run by the opposition leader is also on the high money cartier bracelet list.

  23. sticky says:

    W e go down this road every year and it is a a simple fix, the head teachers the one supposed to be in charge of the day to day decisions of the schools just need to properly earn their pay cheques by making common sense decisons regards blazers. I work in an office and hate to wear a jacket durning the summer and for that matter during the winter except for a meeting which i carry and put on then take off, to be honest it not even cold enough for a blazer in Bermuda anymore, just change with the times cancel blazers altogher. I most offices the dress is business casual, the teachers don’t wear blazers, suits or jackets.

  24. CHEEKUMS BI says:

    oh and to add there is nothing wrong with our children who go out and pack bags at the store to earn them some money and learn how to save and they can see the value of their dollar when they purchase their own blazer
    nothing wrong with that…but prices from the retailer and the greedy landlords can be adjusted

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Obviously spoken by somebody who is neither a retailer or a landlord & has no clue of what it takes to run a business.

      On the Government payroll are you?

  25. FYI says:

    For the record, Dr. Gibbons does not work for Gibbons Company.

    • Hmmmmm says:

      Correct. Like Sir David doesn’t work for Colonial; or Capital G, or Burrows-Lightbourne, or Bermuda Motors, or First Bermuda Securities…….

    • LMAO says:

      You are right FYI – Grant Gibbons does not work for Gibbons he’s the CEO of all Gibbons holdings – he took over the chairmanship from Sir David Gibbons.

  26. Common Sense says:

    Some of these comments are quite amazing! Dr. Gibbons, as the Shadow Minister of Education has simply made a SUGGESTION that the Department of Education give some thought to temporarily easing the uniform requirements in this difficult economic climate for some of our families. That’s it – a suggestion for consideration – and what do we read here. All of the usual vitriolic and personal attacks. Anyone would think he’s suggested getting rid of school uniforms altogether, or banning kids whose parents can’t afford school uniforms from their schools.

    Come on politrickers. Get real. Are really saying that the Department of Education should make absolutely no exceptions and no concessions for those needy parents who are having difficulty making ends meet and putting food on the table while their children have to have new school uniforms.

    At the end of the day you know in your hearts that Dr. Gibbons has made just a simple sensible, practical SUGGESTION but it sickens you that someone from “the other side” has the temerity to do so.

    And to make matters even worse, he’s connected to a family who owns one of our biggest clothing stores on the Island, and is therefore hurting Gibbons stores when he suggests easing some of the rules on school clothing. That must really stick in your craw if you are a died-in-the-wool PLP supporter because all you can do is snipe at this common sense suggestion.

    Shame on you.

  27. NON SENSE says:

    Dr. Gibbons and all the lineage down from Sir David Gibbons are the privillaged. They never have to work a day in their lives to make it nor scrape it. They can be the kind philanthropic throw us a bone here and there people of the community. Ask their children how much school loans they have to pay off or how many jobs they have had to take on to get their degree. They can throw us a bone because of the blood sweat and tears our ancestors gave up for their ancestors. Consider it a repayment for free labour or guilt donations. Let them start giving back some of the properties/land to us along with a percentage of the company (not the profits) and we can start talking.

    • Barracuda says:

      Is this what you are teaching your children?????
      We don’t stand a chance.

    • Common Sense says:

      @ NON SENSE – Quite frankly, it doesn’t really matter who from the OBA made this SUGGESTION, whether it was Dr. Gibbons, or Craig Cannonier, or whoever, they would have been subject to the same vitriolic and mindless childish attacks. And the same has to be said at times when someone from the PLP makes sensible, practical suggestions. The level of nastiness aimed at our politicians is mindnumbing and totally counterproductive.

      If you just take this is an example, can you honestly say that you are against the very idea of “temporariy easing the uniform requirements” in this difficult economic climate for some of our families? I will guarantee 100% that if the suggestion came from a member of your own particular political party you would have been 100% for it, and you would be denigrating anyone who was against it with the same level of vitriol.

      At this very difficult time for our country we need to be pulling together – not tearing each other apart,

    • bermy$hotta says:

      Maybe so but they real people. Dey go work everyday to make people’s lives betta. and guess wat….dey started from nothin. biggest load of bulls&$t u spout. wash ya mouth out bra! Jealou$y an ugly trait!

    • Tolerate says:

      Amazing how writers can go completely off the subject once the suggestion is made by one of their least favorite politicians. While the suggestion is for Gibbons Co. to give school cloths away (as they make truck loads of money) folks are forgetting they are in a business to MAKE money. I do not at any time back Retailers who are raising prices ridiculously, but when you spout such ignorance remember this; retailers do not set the duty on items. Just a note to articles such as school books, magazines, Hospitality goods and others that have a reduced to NO customs rate. You the consumer, who wants a break on new school clothing, ask yourself, “why can’t Government not do the same for ALL school items parents have to buy”. NO it’s easier to blame the Retailer who has to pay their staff. Go ahead Gibbons, Coopers and all the privileged families who didn’t have to work a day in their lives, GIVE it all away. We can use a few more Triminghams around the island. What you gonna tell the workers they pay every week? Go find a job selling goods at one of them upscale shops when they close down next. Funny, these are the shops selling jeans for over a hundred dollars? No problem with this and their doing good business. Plenty customers. Damn hypocrites.