Outspoken attorney-at-law Anselm Clouden has called for the resignation of two Cabinet Ministers and the school teacher engulfed in the political face mask distribution scandal involving school children.
Clouden was speaking to THE NEW TODAY against the backdrop of the public uproar over an incident within the past week in which Youth Minister Kate Lewis was involved in the distribution of politically branded masks with her face in two primary schools in her St. Andrew North-east constituency – Belair Government School and the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic School in Tivoli.
Education Minister Emmalin Pierre has publicly condemned the action of her Cabinet colleague, saying that Minister Lewis’ behaviour was not in keeping with the policy of the Ministry of Education and the requirements for persons entering schools to distribute items.
In a verbal assault on Minister Lewis, Clouden said that her action is tantamount to what he called “psychological oppression and physiological brainwashing” of the nation’s school children for political ends.
“This is the sort of behaviour expected from dictatorships as North Korea and the like,” he remarked.
According to Clouden this conduct in which a school allows school children to wear masks with a politician face on it is in contravention of the 1936 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
He pointed out that Grenada is itself a signatory party to the Convention and it is clear that Articles 16 and 36 of the UN guidelines were violated in the political face mask issue.
“…What has happened here (is) tantamount to an abrogation of the right of the child to protection under the Convention. This is mass psychological conditioning to a political end –it is not educational,” he said.
Clouden charged, “It is no excuse to hear the Minister of Education say that she does not agree with her Cabinet colleague”.
“She (Emmalin) should resign and the Cabinet colleague (Kate Lewis) should also resign their positions because this is mass psychological brainwashing,” he said.
The seasoned attorney-at-law accused the Member of Parliament for St. Andrew North-east of targeting the school children contrary to the UN Convention for the protection of the child.
He noted that both Articles 16 and 36 of this UN Convention speak to the welfare of the child and the rights of the child and how party states are obligated under the Convention to ensure that those rights are protected and adhered to.
“In this instance those rights have been violated by the psychological brainwashing for political ends. That ought to stop.”
“I am calling on the Minister of course to resign and the teacher who (was) displaying the mask, leading the children – she too ought to resign.”
When contacted by THE NEW TODAY for comment on the issue, Minister Lewis declined and abruptly ended the telephone call while Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has remained tight-lipped about it.