Education minister apologises for Facebook post
The education minister yesterday apologised for “any discomfort caused” by a social media post that suggested all those around him were losing their heads and blaming him.
Diallo Rabain made the post – a quote from If, a poem by British writer Rudyard Kipling – after recent criticism of his performance, including a vote of no confidence by the Bermuda Union of Teachers.
Mr Rabain said he mounted his online defence “in response to the accumulation of various issues both professional and personal over the last few months”.
But he added: “I fully acknowledge and can understand the sentiments that have been shared through responses that were posted by some upon further reflection.
“I apologise for any discomfort caused and to anyone that I have offended. That was not my intention and had I known of the discomfort and misinterpretation my personal musings would have caused the public I would not have shared them.”
Mr Rabain issued the apology after wrote in a Facebook Story post: “ … If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you …”
The parent of a public schoolchild reposted a screen grab on Facebook and told Mr Rabain the post was “unacceptable”, “insensitive” and arrogant.
The poster said parents were “legitimately and proportionately frustrated with public education administration”.
The post added: “To reduce that frustration and dismiss it as you have when the country, and public education, are in such a vulnerable state lacks a basic level of humility and sensitivity.
“Frankly, the arrogance necessary to take such a position at this sensitive time is unconscionable.
“To then further insult people’s intelligence by suggesting they don’t know where to place ‘blame’ is egregious.”
The post said: “Sir, you are the Minister of Education. You are the figurehead. You set policy that everyone in the Ministry and Department of Education are duty-bound to follow.
“Sir, you wanted the job. Be the leader you’re meant to be, humble yourself and take responsibility for your portfolio with the humility it requires because you aren’t.
“And if you’re unwilling to, someone needs to be placed in your position who is”.
David Burt, the Premier, was tagged in the reply.
Mr Rabain said: “As a public figure, I realise social media postings like this are open to both negative and positive interpretations.
“I value the input from both those who support me and those who may not, as all are used for my personal journey. I appreciate those that have taken the time to bring this to my attention.”
Mr Rabain’s post was no longer visible on his Facebook page yesterday.
He confirmed that he did not remove the post and explained that it was no longer visible because a Facebook Story was timed to disappear only days after it was posted.