Saturday, September 30, 2023

Children’s Home Under Scrutiny as Video Shows Alleged Abuse

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A widely circulated video involving the physical abuse of children at a children’s home has prompted the response of Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell, assuring a full investigation into the matter.

The video is purported to be recorded at the Bahamas Children’s Emergency Hostel on McKinney Drive, off Carmichael Road.

What the video shows

  • The eight-minute-long video shows staff members administering punishment to children in a room where nearly 20 children are gathered.
  • A woman dressed in scrubs is the first to issue punishment with a long, flexible stick as children queue to receive punishment.
  • Five minutes and 30 seconds into the video, a flailing boy is held down and violently whipped atop a table, as he scrambles to be freed.
  • Then a second boy is held down on the floor by three adults, to be whipped.
  • Seven minutes into the video, a woman in a wheelchair rolls in, whipping a little boy with a stick as staff members laugh and cajole.

How Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell responds to the video

  • Frankie Campbell said the matter will be investigated. “I reassure the public that this matter will be properly investigated. It will be partially investigated.
  • “We will leave no stone unturned and we will let the chips fall where they may,” Campbell said.
  • “If someone is culpable the chips will fall where they may.”
  • “I’ve spoken to the chairman of the board at the Children’s Emergency Hostel (Arthur Peet) and we are on the same page.”
  • He added, “I want to thank all who have expressed genuine concern…”

What’s the public’s reaction

The video has sparked public outrage with many posters on social media, calling for the arrest of the individuals involved.

Jennell Hamilton said the woman seen beating the children should be placed before the courts, “This is so sad,” she says. “…She has no right to touch these kids.”

A poster identified as Myz Unbreakable says, “beating these kids like animals,” should not be tolerated. She decried the setting as “a puppet show,” highlighting the provocation of the adults as the children are beaten.

Ida Collie says the children are shown “no love” when they are taken and placed in homes such as these.

And Debbie Roldan calls for quick response by the authorities to address the matter. She says, “Put them in jail [be]cause they causing those children to build hate.”

The Bahamas Children’s Emergency Hostel is a nongovernmental organization. It is a short term child care facility that houses children between the ages of 12 months and 12 years.

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