Registrations for next year’s classes have begun at the only Provo public high school, Clement Howell High School, resulting in a similar disturbance to that which occurred last year. Approximately 160 parents lined up with their children for the first day of registration. The disruption occurred when several Haitian parents and children claimed that they were issued numbers for their place in line but on reaching the registration desk they were put behind native TCIslanders.
“We are not dogs we are human,” one Haitian told interviewers. Another Haitian child said, “When you cut us we bleed red blood like everyone else.”
A spokesman for the education department was also interviewed on television, claiming the problem was a misunderstanding because the first day registrations were only for Form One students not for other classes.
Clement Howell is home to approximately 1,000 students but was built to accommodate only 350. The overcrowding in the school caused disciplinary problems last year and has caused the media spotlight to focus on the principal, a Jamaican national.
No new schools have been built for years in the TCI. However, during the Michael Misick administration (2004 through 2009), a sports complex and outdoor track to accommodate the CARIFTA games were constructed for a combined reported cost nearing $20 million.
The then PNP administration reported they were promised that Cem Kinay, the Dellis Cay developer, was planning to build a $10 million high school near Kew in North Caicos, which is home to numerous Haitians. Currently those students are bused to Raymond Gardiner High School in Bottle Creek, which has an enrollment of approximately 120 students. The Raymond Gardiner High School could accommodate another 100 students.