Secondary School Entrance Changes
From Monday 14th January our entrance on Wood Lane will be open to students only until 8:55am. Students will also leave via this entrance as usual at the end of the school day. Any students arriving after 8.55am will have to enter via the Du Cane Road entrance and register at the all-through reception, which is located in the Primary. They will then be escorted to their lessons.
All visitors, parents and guests will arrive and leave via the Du Cane Raod entrance, at all times and also check in to the all-through reception.
The all-through reception is reached by following the pavement around to the left and entering the primary building.
The Pulitzer Centre: 'The Abominable Crime'
Dr O'Hear: On Friday March 28th, we were very fortunate to welcome the Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Reporting to BDA to deliver a talk to Year 12 and 13 on their most recent documentary, The Abominable Crime. The documentary (directed by Mikah Fink) examines the legal struggle faced by homosexual Jamaicans to attain the same rights and protections as heterosexual citizens.
At the moment homosexual acts are punishable by ten years hard labour in Jamaica and homophobic violence is extremely commonplace. Most people, once 'outed' have to go into hiding or flee the country. We saw this struggle through the eyes of Maurice Tomlinson, human rights activist and gay Jamaican who had to seek asylum in Canada, and Simone, a lesbian, who was the victim of a triple shooting and had to seek asylum in the Netherlands with her daughter.
We were especially fortunate to have Maurice Tomlinson (fresh from addressing the UK Parliament) come to BDA with the Pulitzer team in order share his moving and inspirational experiences with the students. He is without doubt one of the bravest people I have ever had the privilege to meet as, although he has received many death threats and endured attempts on his life, he still returns to Jamaica on a regular basis to continue the legal battle against Jamaica's harsh laws and also with individual discrimination cases (he is a practising lawyer).
Although homosexuality can be a challenging issue for some of our students, they should be commended for listening respectfully and for joining in with the discussion. Particularly good questions came from Ivan, Adonay and Gianina in Year 13 and from Inis and Jemima in Year 12. I think we all left with a conviction that even if you feel ambivalent about homosexuality on a personal or religious level, it is absolutely crucial that all people, regardless of their sexuality, are protected by the law from mindless violence and discrimination, as they are in this country.
As Simone so movingly argues in the film, her persecutors are not God and ultimately only God has the right to judge her.