Primary school girl’s gyrating irks minister - Williams urges school officials, parents to vet child behaviours
Minister of Education Fayval Williams is encouraging school officials and other adults to ensure that the content that the nation's children are listening and performing to are age-appropriate.
This follows a raunchy dance performance by a primary-school student at a Peace Day Concert that PALS held at Calabar Primary and Junior High and Infant School in central Kingston yesterday.
Williams was disappointed as she watched the performance of a child, who appearedto be no older than 10 years old, gyrating and splitting, on multiple occasions, during an arranged item coordinated with a series of dancehall songs.
"When I go to these functions, I never know ahead of time what the particular performance will be in terms of a dance, or poem, or what it is that the children will be doing. I have to trust the school leaders that they have vetted the particular item and that it is age-appropriate," the minister reasoned.
"We have to instill in our parents, our teachers, our principals, and all across Jamaica that items that children are performing need to be age-appropriate," she reiterated.
The child, who was dressed in a short, black leatherette skirt, pranced about the stage in a set of choreographed moves. Some of the children in the audience, as well as some educators, cheered her on, but Williams, along with others, appeared concerned and mortified.
Unable to watch the performance any longer, Williams got up from the chair and began walking away.
At the same time, an official from the Ministry of Education headed towards the stage to have the little girl removed.
"It's inappropriate for a primary-school student, female student, to be gyrating her body in front of an audience to a song that would be considered not appropriate," Williams said.
"We are not saying for you not to enjoy a concert, but when held in a school with schoolchildren it needs to be age-appropriate," the minister stressed.
"I was very disappointed this morning (yesterday) to see a primary-school girl student performing in that way. I expressed my dissatisfaction to the school leadership, and I want to encourage our principals and teachers ... we want to get a certain type of decorum in our society," Williams underscored.
"We want our girls and boys to grow up in a certain way, and we have to teach them at an early age and let them know that there are certain things that are in the adult domain. Whatever item you perform has to be properly vetted, because somebody made that decision about that particular song and dance, and the somebody is an adult," the education minister noted.
PALS Jamaica is a not-for-profit foundation promoting non-violent solutions nationally and within the school system. It is dedicated to creating a culture of peace through community peace-building, teaching dispute resolution in schools, and making the practices and values of peace in its many forms better understood, more tangible, more personal, and more accessible.