Fa­ther against mother home­school­ing son

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - News -

The fa­ther of 13-year-old Shaquille Bryan is deny­ing that his son would be bet­ter off be­ing home­schooled.

Neville Boucher was re­fer­ring to a story which ap­peared on page 12 of the Oc­to­ber 8 Daily Na­tion, in which Shaquille’s mother Betty Bryan was ap­peal­ing to the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion to al­low her to con­tinue home­school­ing her son.

“The story is mis­lead­ing to the pub­lic and un­fair to the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion. In the pa­per she stated [there was] an in­ci­dent where the child was struck in his head and he had a con­cus­sion and was bleed­ing from his nose and had to be rushed to the [Queen El­iz­a­beth] hos­pi­tal; that is un­true. He had no phys­i­cal marks or in­juries from be­ing hit by a rock. Any­time a child is hit by a rock, enough to give him a ‘goofy’ and blood come from his head, there has to be an ex­ter­nal mark,” he said.

“Shaquille is a slow learner, and was taken out of three pri­mary schools by his mother . . . . When he re­turns to school, he is not placed in a lower level where he stopped learn­ing; he’s placed in an above level, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for him to be on the same level as the chil­dren in the class,” he charged.

Boucher added that his son had been placed at St Ge­orge Sec­ondary, and when the work be­came too in­tense, Bryan ap­plied for home­school­ing through the African Her­itage Foun­da­tion.

Per­mis­sion was granted, Boucher said, and sev­eral meet­ings were called at the min­istry for both par­ents to at­tend. How­ever, he said, Bryan never at­tended.

“[Min­istry of­fi­cials] went to the house to have vis­its with the mother and on two oc­ca­sions they were de­nied en­try. On the third, when they came and saw the work be­ing done, it was not sat­is­fac­tory to their level, so they sum­moned me and her to sev­eral meet­ings, of which she re­fused to come,” he said.

Since then, home­school­ing had been de­nied and Shaquille man­dated to at­tend classes at New Hori­zon Acad­emy.

“I see Shaquille al­most ev­ery day, and me and my girl­friend go through work with him. My girl­friend does re­me­dial work to help him, be­cause at 13 he can’t read and write,” Boucher said.

How­ever, Bryan was adamant that home­school­ing was bet­ter for her son.

“Shaquille was bul­lied at St Ge­orge and his spec­ta­cles were dam­aged. Yes, I get per­mis­sion the first year to home­school, and I still got per­mis­sion. Right now they ain’t stop it. Shaquille is see­ing a psy­chol­o­gist for no rea­son – and all this is the fa­ther do­ing. At the end of the day Shaquille is still be­ing home­schooled,” she said.

She added the min­istry was await­ing a re­port from the psy­chol­o­gist to make a fi­nal de­ci­sion.

“I told the woman I don’t know where that school [New Hori­zons] is, I never heard any­thing about it and my child is not com­ing. He goes to the African Her­itage Foun­da­tion,” she de­clared.

Ef­forts to reach min­istry of­fi­cials for com­ment were un­suc­cess­ful.

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