PLP: Who In OBA Will Stand Up For Teachers?

February 17, 2017

[Updated] The Minister of Education “refused to repudiate” the Premier’s “denigration of teachers,” and since then the “concerns of teachers were validated with the discovery of severe levels of mould,” so “who in the OBA will stand up for our teachers,” asked Shadow Minister of Education Lovitta Foggo.

Lovitta Foggo Bermuda February 17 2017 TC

Students of the TN Tatem Middle School began attending classes at the Clearwater School facility late last year, while work took place on the TN Tatem building.

Prior to the decision to have students temporarily relocate, the school had been closed on some days, and the Bermuda Union of Teachers had appealed to the Government to “stop politicizing this and make children their priority, and truly take care of the sick building.”

Earlier today, the Department of Education said that T.N. Tatem Middle School has been “cleared to reopen,” with Acting Commissioner of Education Dr. Freddie Evans having received the final reports from the Bermuda Government Safety and Health Coordinator regarding mould, air quality and maintenance work at TN Tatem Middle School.

Quoting from the report, Dr Evans stated, “This is to confirm the progress and re-inspections conducted at TN Tatem Middle School on 16th February 2017. All areas cleared have returned significantly lowered and acceptable levels of mould and respective species counts. Areas cleared are deemed to pose no immediate or significant threat to the health, safety and well-being of students or staff at this time.”

Audio excerpt of the exchange about TN Tatem in the House of Assembly today:

Ms Foggo said, “The Minister of Education today refused to repudiate the Premier’s attack on the character and integrity of the teachers at TN Tatem who by taking a stand for their students, exposed the dangerous health conditions at that school.

“To be more explicit, late last year, the Premier in his denigration of teachers, called them ‘mischievous’ simply for doing what the government would not; protect the students.

“Since then, the concerns of teachers were validated with the discovery of severe levels of mould found throughout the facility.

“The Premier has yet to apologise for his derogatory attack on our teachers. Today, during Question Period in Parliament, Education Minister Wayne Scott refused to condemn or repudiate the Premier’s remarks.

“This begs the question; If the Premier and the Minister of Education do not believe that our TN Tatem teachers deserve an apology; who in the OBA will stand up for our teachers?”

Update 6:07pm: The Premier commented on this in the House of Assembly:

Update Feb 18, 9.59am: Speaking on the floor of the House , the Premier said, “Raised on the floor of this Honourable chamber earlier today, and that’s the questions that were put to the Honourable Minister of Education, my colleague, the hard working Minister, in regards to comments that I made a couple of weeks ago, when I was interviewed by the local media about TN Tatem and this is another one of those incidents where the Opposition spin smoke and mirrors, and provide ample quantities of disinformation

“I was clearly asked at the local media station, when I went up there one night, at the end of the interview I was asked about what took place recently at TN Tatem, and my comments were specific, in regards to the fact that I think if you reflect back, early in the week, I think it was Monday, the teachers decided that they didn’t want to work in the facility, because they were worried about the conditions in the facility, and that’s all fine. The Minister of Education had been working closely with the Department for some time to ensure that the condition of the building, the working conditions, were appropriate.

“My comments simply revolved around the fact that on Friday, if individuals were concerned about the conditions, any conditions, in the facility, they could have made the decision then that it would be inappropriate to work at that time, rather than letting everyone involved in education, especially our children, come to school that day, and have to inconvenience parents by making other plans for them during the day.

“So, it shows clearly that the Opposition will try to spin things and distort the truth, and I just wanted to set the record straight once again on that, that those comments were not dealing with the educational process at the school, the quality of education, the teachers, the children; they were dealing with the fact that if you’re not happy about the conditions of the place, and have been talking about it for some time, just give some notice so we would not inconvenience the children that we all dearly love, and the education process, let’s make sure that we can make arrangements to remove them from that environment in an appropriate way.”

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Comments (33)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    Dear Ms. Foggo,

    It appears that you are the champion of teachers in Bermuda. I would not be too hard on the OBA though, even the BUT will not stand up for a teacher’s rights except when it is time to negotiate a new contract.

    • Black Soil says:

      Who in the PLP will stand-up for Bermuda over their own self-serving interests??

  2. jt says:

    Well, at least the PLP’s call for action on doc was answered in short order. First bi-partisan action in a long time. No?

  3. watching says:

    none of them will. They are scared of Dunkley. And Dunkley has no respect.

  4. confrontational says:

    same spin different topic—confrontational always–VOTERS ARE TIRED OF IT

    hey here’s a novel idea–instead of character assisination and complaint–how about creating a bi-partisan working group to focus on and address the issues confronting Bermuda’s schools.

    Hey that might actually help our kids instead of political agendas.

    Blessings abound.

    • aceboy says:

      21 dislikes on that suggestion. Spin is all they want to hear.

      • Easy to complain and spin but hard... says:

        To step up to the wicket and do some hard work to make a difference and create positive change.

  5. A Chap called V says:

    Mould problem highlighted. Mould problem fixed.

    Could it have been handled better? Yes, but only the PLP are politicising the issue.

    The BUT do have form for being mischievous. No notice strikes and sick outs come to mind.

  6. hmmm says:

    Give it a rest Lovitta, you didn’t stand up for anybody when the PLP spent us into oblivion. You didn’t stand up for your fellow woman when vile comments were lashed at her by your colleague. All that money that could have been put to good use. did you stand up for the uninformed when the Pension funds effectively got raided by abstaining from contribution to support the PLPs destruction? NO YOU DID NOT !!!!!!!

    You stand for nothing but devilish ways..back to plantation…what, we are not we are moving away from the plantation that you and your PLP devils were determined to create. You make me sick. How about a more recent picture gets used, your bitterness now shows fully on your face.

  7. Onion Juice says:

    The question should be” who in the O.B.A. will stand up for Black Bermudians.

    • jt says:

      You mean like the doc?

    • wahoo says:

      I think that if you took off your blinders then you would see that the OBA are standing up for all Bermudians. They are doing great things in spite of the background noise and distraction which your precious party and affiliates are generating. OBA are getting on with business and rightly so because they inherited a shambles from their predecessors. By the way the OBA are a more diverse group, black and white, not that that should matter but if the only thing you have left is skin color then so be it.

      You will come to see that the plp is a sinking ship that is generating only noise at this time, so run and get your popcorn.

      By the way your comment was a racist one.

  8. Terry says:

    Let it go Lovitta and put a little lov in your heart.

    Stop with the negativity and self attention and try to focus of what you try to derail.

    • Earth watch police says:

      The only reason your even able to b#tch and moan about Everything is because the plp moved hundreds of people to st David’s real st David’s islanders are smart we would never vote for you.

      • Jr Smith says:

        Lovita has been the best MP we’ve ever had & I hope she will be made the next education minster come next election…. #297forlife

  9. Positive Pessimist says:

    A truck went over the cliff into the water.

  10. John Joseph says:

    Most jurstictions concern themselves with progress, achievemnt and standards of learning. We talk of Mold and inspections of buildings. Oh dear Bermuda, will we ever get on the same page as the rest of the developed world.

  11. Mary says:

    sometimes it seems like some folks are stuck in the plantations of their minds

  12. San George says:

    Really! Stand-up for yourselves! You stood with BIU, etc., they/we will stand with you. This is a matter of health. His statement was outrageous and insensitive; but, what do you expect. Take your displeasure to the polls!

  13. Bermudian says:

    Sit down Foggo. I don’t remember you standing up for anything whilst teaching at Whitney. Give me a break! I honestly forget about her until she starts ranting.

  14. Rego says:

    The teachers are all mischievous and you folks that vote for plpBIU are = blind /mischievous. The OBA will save stand united bermuda party

  15. TimBuc says:

    Clean up the friends and family buddy system first within!!! That’s a major issue within the schools. While some of the kids get special treatment when they don’t deserve it. Anything to make the numbers look good for teachers. Just push them through. They hit college and their parents spent crazy money to find ole Johnny is not cutting it!!! All about the numbers.

  16. sue dumps says:

    When did the PLP ever stand up for the teachers during their term….I’LL WAIT!

  17. Sorry Sir says:

    Election year.

  18. Wow says:

    Where was her cry for an apology when an ex premier ‘had to deceive’ us? And the list can go on. These lot have kicked into survival mode now. Whining about nothing and politricking everything. You’re not wanted PLP.

  19. Alvin Williams says:

    This government does not care about Bermudians; should we be surprise that
    would include our children.

    • bdaboy says:

      “This government does not care about Bermudians; should we be surprise that
      would include our children.”

      In other words, they’re just like the PLP.

  20. BDA45 says:

    You have a Bermudian at the Ministry of Education in charge of the lazy Bermudian janitors that don’t clean the schools properly. Foggo needs to go and look for herself because I have and I took pictures. They don’t clean the surface mildew off of doors, mini blinds, bathrooms and even in sinks. They sweep with a big broom that can’t fit under the desks, so the dirt under the desks stay there! You complain to the principal in charge of the school and nothing changes. Foggo, ask school janitors if they clean bathroom sinks and toilets everyday! Once a week is more like it, if at all. If the PLP were so concerned for the health of our children, they should be visiting schools more often to see first hand how our children are being subjected to unhygienic facilities!

  21. Cupmatch says:

    Levitra, stop acting girl!

  22. tired says:

    He is so full of it. Degrading teachers and that’s his excuse!! He should have just said he was wrong!!! Never again will we vote for him….