Bugs lead to commotion with two Saba students

An unfor­tunate incident temporarily clouded the guidance trajec­tory of the 48 newly-arrived students from Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba in the Netherlands this week. The reason: a bug or bugs in a hotel room and overreacting parents of two students.

The 14 students from St. Eustatius and Saba shortly after their arrival at the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on Monday morning. (Suzanne Koelega photo)

The incident took place in the night of Tuesday to Wednesday. Two Saba stu­dents, staying together in a room in the hotel in Amster­dam, where the first part of the orientation week took place, sounded the alarm over some bugs they found in the room.
Coordinator Roos Leer­dam-Bulo of the Student Support division of Aalse and Partners, in charge of the guidance of the students from the Caribbean Nether­lands, was alerted about the situation. She immediately went to the hotel in the mid­dle of the night to check what the problem was.
Seeing that the students were clearly uncomfortable, Leerdam-Bulo decided to move the students to a dif­ferent hotel that same night. The matter could have been left at that if it were not for the fact that this incident was put on social media and the parents of the two students made a big deal about it.

The Daily Herald learned that there were several nega­tive postings on social media that the hotel where the stu­dents were staying was ridden with bedbugs and/or other insects. One of the guidance counsellors received an an­gry message from one of the parents. Consequently, gov­ernment authorities sought clarity from the Student Sup­port division about the issue. A photo taken of the bug in the room showed that it was a (kind of) beetle, not a bed­bug as had been suggested. It should be noted that with the windows being open at night due to the current warm weather in the Netherlands, it might have been very likely that the bug(s) flew into the room.

Student Support asked the parents to apologise for their behaviour, as it adversely af­fected the process of guiding their child through the first days/weeks in the Nether­lands. The students in ques­tion were informed that if their parents did not apolo­gise, Student Support could no longer provide the ser­vices to them.

The parents of the two students did offer their sin­cere apologies in the course of Wednesday. One parent stated that she did not do this with any malicious in­tent, but merely to inform the other parents of the situ­ation. The fact that their chil­dren were far away and that they were unable to address the situation from a distance also played a role in their overreaction and making as­sumptions before hearing the details.

“The students are, in gen­eral, very satisfied with the service that we provide. This was an unfortunate case where the parents made a wrong assumption,” said an Aalse and Partners spokes­person. The incident left a bitter taste in the mouths of the team, which includes close to 10 volunteers who all have been working tirelessly to assist and coach the new students.

The incident did not in­volve or affect the other 46 students from the Caribbean Netherlands. In total eight students from Saba, six from St. Eustatius and 34 from Bonaire arrived in the Neth­erlands on Monday morning to further their studies in the Netherlands.

The Daily Herald.

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One comment

  1. Altagracia Hassell

    So what am i hearing Saba dont have bugs roaches, flies, mosquitos, andwhat about allthose lizards etc running around in homes come on they have more ahead of them bigger than Bugs

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