Another school closed

After everything that primary school students and staff have been through this year, a Beaconite was sad to hear that students from Alexandria Maduro Primary School had to return to remote learning after a health crisis struck the school. The reporter is glad that officials took quick action to protect students after receiving reports early last week of the health concerns. But she wishes more information about the possible cause was made readily available, especially considering how quickly a contagious germ can spread among families and the wider community. And if a germ is not the source, knowing as much would relieve some concerns. She knows at least one teacher who has fallen ill, and she hopes everyone affected recovers quickly.



Mental illness

A Beaconite was taken aback by a video that surfaced on Facebook this week of a woman in a fracas with the male employee of a business on Tortola. In the video, the woman — who reportedly suffers from mental illness — could be seen in a physical fight with the man over a tips bin which she allegedly took from the business. The employee probably had limited time to react, but the Beaconite nevertheless thinks he should have taken another approach. For example, he could have called the police so that the woman could be taken to get care if needed. And he certainly should have considered that he was fighting a woman. In any case, the rise in mentally ill people on the streets of the territory surely is a matter of concern for residents and tourists alike. Monday, after all, was World Mental Health Day. The Beaconite hopes a solution can be found soon.




“This story was unnecessary,” went a comment on social media under a story by a Beaconite’s colleague about the governor’s possible knowledge of the United States’ sting operation involving former Premier Andrew Fahie. “There’s nothing new in it.” Huh? Necessary? This criticism mystified the Beaconite. The story wasn’t meant to be just “new,” although it did include extensive information that was previously unreported in the territory. It was also meant to be well-written and accurate. Simply because a topic has already been chewed over on various blogs, social media, and news sites doesn’t mean that a more comprehensive, thorough and accurate story isn’t “necessary.” If anything, it’s probably more necessary in order to combat the reams of misinformation that tend to float around attached to such a charged topic. Furthermore, social media reaches readers living outside the Virgin Islands who don’t follow local news as closely, and for them, it could very well have been breaking news that they would welcome from a source they know is reliable. Plus, the story will also serve as part of the official record for many years to come. The Beaconite has heard all kinds of half-formed criticism from people who don’t understand how the media functions, but she found this one particularly unfair and rude to her colleagues who spend hours and hours of their time reporting and writing a story like this and providing a public service to the VI community. Just because a story seems “unnecessary” for one person does not make it “unnecessary” for all.



Domestic violence

World Mental Health Day was on Monday, and a Beaconite took a mental health day herself to process a domestic violence situation the previous night. It’s difficult for her to actually write about it, but too often women stay silent about trauma for too long. Maybe it’s because they’d rather forget it. Maybe they’re afraid to be stigmatised. The Beaconite feels both. But she believes that speaking her truth is brave, and anyone else who has been in similar situations should also feel free to speak up. The world celebrated World Mental Health Day this week, and this weekend the territory will host a walk/run to raise awareness about domestic violence. This note also raises awareness. Domestic violence can happen to anyone. Let’s look out for each other.