Tue | Sep 19, 2017

Lewd and vulgar - Disgusting dancehall posters placed at school gate

Published:Sunday | April 17, 2016 | 4:00 AMCorey Robinson
These youngsters at play at Alpha Primary School cannot miss the poster advertising a ‘naughty party’.

Dancehall at its most disgusting was on display outside one of the island's most prominent primary schools last week, causing children as young as six years old to view the filth as they entered or left the premises.

Billboards promoting a 'topless orgy, naughty party' were placed in front of the Alpha Primary School and the Convent of Mercy Academy 'Alpha' on South Camp Road in the Corporate Area.

This prompted a strong response from the administrators of the two institutions who demanded that they be removed.

"I have seen the ad and I'm upset by its content. I cannot believe it. It is offensive, distasteful and immoral. To put it in a zone where the school is makes us look bad," said Millicent Graham, principal at Alpha Primary.

"We are trying to teach our students certain values and that is not supporting what we are doing. It is not women who they are inviting. They are inviting girls to participate in something like that.

"It is something that we could not encourage. Character building is very important to us, as important as the academic, and that does not represent what we are trying to do.

"So that is definitely something that we would not encourage," added Graham as she noted that the schools are Catholic and strive to instil Christian values in their students.

State minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, shared Graham's disappointment when he was told of the lewd posters in the vicinity of the schools.

"Promoters have to be careful and considerate when they are erecting these posters," said Green.

"We need to ensure that there is age-appropriate material around our children and schools. As a people, we need to be more sensitive about the messages we are giving to our children," added Green.

Graham brought the billboards to the attention of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) and was advised that the council would make efforts to remove them.

Subsequent checks by our newsroom revealed that the KSAC had given instructions for the billboards to be removed.

"This case is completely illegal and completely indecent. It is exposing the public to vulgarity and it is a nuisance," Town Clerk Robert Hill told our news team.

"We know nothing about it, and if we know nothing about it then it is not legal. So we will be moving to take them down," added Hill.

The pink, yellow and blue billboards promise a topless orgy and a naughty party, featuring 'outrageous, rude, gorgeous, young ladies, with topless waitresses and dancers'.

They were erected on a light post at the entrance to the school in full view of students playing behind the school's perimeter fence inside.

Last Monday afternoon, our news team watched as several parents escorted their young children from the primary school past the billboards.

Minutes later, the high school students from the Alpha Academy followed, some of the girls reading and pointing at the billboards as they walked by.

Other billboards promoting the party were erected at several locations in the area, including just outside an early childhood institution on Elletson Road.

While the billboards do not have any colour photos, they have the naked silhouettes of two women standing on either side of the words.

For Hill, billboards and posters such as these are difficult for the KSAC to police.

He noted that Jamaica's Control of Advertisement Act does not dictate the content of billboards, but said those deemed public nuisances would not be approved.

According to Hill, the regulations dictate that persons desirous of erecting billboards to promote events must make an application to the KSAC one month in advance.

They must provide information on the size, impact on pedestrian traffic, and other criteria before their request can be approved.

Promoters must also ensure that they remove their posters by an agreed date or lose a refund deposited as part of the application process.