Belinda Wilson agrees for Bahamian teachers to be fingerprinted, but protests when foreign teachers are fingerprinted?

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Belinda Wilson needs a reality check…

Belinda Wilson

21st January 2014

Press Release By Minister Jerome K. Fitzgerald, Minister of Education Science and Technology.

Re: Fingerprinting of Non Bahamian Teachers

I have made it clear on numerous occasions since assuming the role of Minister of Education Science and Technology that I take my job seriously and my first and most important responsibility is to the safety and well being of our students and teachers and also to ensure there is order on the school campuses which promote and encourage excellence. I will not compromise when it comes to protecting our “little darlings” and making decisions which are in their best interest.

All persons who are responsible for our children on school campuses are required to be properly and rigorously vetted by the Royal Bahamas Police Force. Persons employed in public schools are included in a category which receives the most rigorous vetting in the public service for obvious reason. The only means for The Royal Bahamas Police Force to confirm that a non Bahamian is who they say they are and not an imposter is to fingerprint them. The Royal Bahamas Police Force has indicated that Fingerprinting is the only way that they can positively determine whether a non Bahamians has a criminal past.

This policy is an attempt to ensure that we minimize sexual and other forms of exploitation against our children by persons entrusted with their care.

In the public interest, The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology will not engage non Bahamians who are not prepared to confirm their identity and be vetted by the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

We ask for the support of the parents, teachers and the wider community in this effort to protect and ensure the safety of our Children.