Officials look into student shaming at St. Thomas school

Font size: [A] [A] [A]

ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Education Department has launched an investigation into a public humiliation photo of a very young student that is circulating social media.

In the photo, a young boy with a forlorn look and wearing a pink and grey Gladys Abraham Elementary School uniform has a sign taped to his chest. The sign reads: "My name is ... and I am a liar and a thief!"

The sign is not handwritten, it is typed and printed in color.

The picture was taken in the Gladys Abraham school cafeteria, and the pink walls, tile floor and lunch tables can be seen in the background.

"We are aware of the picture and an investigation has been launched into the circumstances," Education Department spokeswoman Ananta Pancham said Friday.

She said she could not comment further on the photograph or what steps the department may be taking to address the matter.

Calls to Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory and St. Thomas-St. John Superintendent Janette Smith-Barry were not returned by presstime.

The photo was being texted and emailed around the community, and an edited version where the child's face was blurred was posted to Facebook on Friday.

Comments on the posts expressed outrage that a school official or teacher would use such a humiliation as punishment.

Attempts to reach the boy's family were unsuccessful.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.

Best of the VI

Best of the VI: After more than 100,000 text and Facebook votes were cast, it is time to unveil the winners.

Daily News E-Edition

Try our e-newspaper delivered to you every day

Island Trader

Good stuff, best buys, great fun

Crucian Trader

Celebrating St. Croix History, Culture and People

Island Action

Your complete guide to where to go and what to do this week in the Virgin Islands.