Sometimes I can’t figure things out at all. This is one of those times.
A few days ago The Bajan Reporter posted a video that was said to be of a teacher beating students with a belt. (BREAKING NEWS: Barbadian students lashed for tardiness – Another St Leonard’s Teacher brutalises young boys)
The video is believable as is the scenario it portrays because teachers do beat students in Barbados and there is an ongoing debate about this practice. There have also been instances when teachers have been photographed while beating students. (see Public flogging of students degrades Barbados)
Barbados Free Press connected with the Bajan Reporter piece through our article Not Again! St. Leonard’s teacher brutally beats boys – Exclusive video at Bajan Reporter
Now we see in The Nation a claim by the teacher apparently in the video, Michael Franklin, that the video was staged as a prank.
We are dumbfounded that Mr. Franklin views his participation in the making of the video as appropriate behaviour for a teacher.
Here is the article published at The Nation. As any teacher might say: Please review and discuss.
(Please visit The Nation to read the article as they deserve your visit. We’re posting the entire article because The Nation has removed and censored their own articles in the past due to political pressure.)
Published on: 12/28/2009.
by TRACY MOORE
A VIDEO CLIP circulating on the Internet called “Barbados Flogging, Brutality, Coach Of St Leonard’s Boys’ Cricket Team Goes Wild On Bad Students” with a teacher brutalising two boys with a belt in a room is a hoax.
According to the teacher, Michael Franklin, who was named in the video, as well as two parents, one of whom is the mother of one of the boys in the video, it was all a prank.
The video uploaded onto YouTube.com showed two boys receiving blows all over their hands, heads and shoulders with other voices in the background filming, talking and some chuckling.
The individual who uploaded the clip, under the name bajanreporter, wrote: “St Leonard’s Boys’ School cricket coach flogging pupils on a school trip, it appears some fellows went to a strip club and got back late – the teacher went berserk. Yes, they were wrong but to be treated like plantation slavery days?”
The same clip was uploaded by another online author bajandream who linked it to a website antillean.org, a pan-Caribbean non-profit media outlet, covering news, features and opinions on social issues in the Caribbean region and the wider Americas.
However, when the DAILY NATION spoke to Franklin yesterday, he said he was never contacted to find out what really happened in the video.
“First of all, no one went to a strip club, no one was in trouble. That video came out last April. Second, parents were there. And third, the boys were video-taping and felt that they would have some fun.
“What you are seeing on the clip is not a consequence of anybody doing anything wrong. It was a dramatisation. It looked so real, but it was a prank and parents were there. We were doing some filming and everyone was in one room,” he stressed.
Franklin admitted that the video looked more real than amusing, “but the boy and his brother put it on facebook.com [in April] and people were a little annoyed. Now it has come back up again with someone writing something on [the video]”.
Parents were there
Kay Brome, the mother of one of the boys in the video, also said that the video was “only a prank”.
“There were parents there and I was one of the parents there. I was in the room. It was just a prank and a demonstration. There was nothing to be alarmed about. The boys had a camera and they wanted to videotape. It was just a fun thing.
“I didn’t know it was going to get to this level. People wrote things there and made people look like something happened. The boys were not getting beat. It wasn’t anything serious and there is nothing more to explain to it,” she said.