Indigenous community rejects Mae’s statement, continues protest

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Members of the Indigenous community have rejected the statement and explanation provided by the Mae’s Private School as it relates to the alleged discrimination against a 9-year-old Amerindian student.

“It’s a lie, it’s all a lie and I am very disappointed with that statement,” the child’s mother, Karen Small said, as she and members of various rights groups braved the rain to continue their protest outside the school’s Third Avenue, Subryanville, Georgetown location today.

After the group held its first protest on Tuesday, the Mae’s Private School denied that it turned away the student due to his traditional outfit which comprised of a straw skirt and a headdress during culture day on Friday last.

The school said, “all children were told that plain t-shirts and tights/shorts should be worn under clothes that would otherwise expose them.”

Karen Small

It was also stated that the child was supposed to be dressed as Portuguese.

However, the child’s mother today displayed a letter sent to parents before the event which stated that “pupils will be allowed to dress in their cultural wear, depicting an ethnic group of their choice.”

Small said she is not surprised that the school did not offer an apology.

“Nobody likes to accept responsibility.”

A representative of the Amerindian People’s Association, Michael McGarrell said the school’s letter which stated that student “may have been a subject of gawking by other students,” only serves to sow discord among the students since it is casting blame.

Opposition Member of Parliament, Nigel Dharamlall also joined the protest and noted that it is unfortunate the school has taken such a high-handed approach.

The letter which was sent to parents.

The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) and the Ministry of Social Cohesion among other organizations were called out for the silence on the issue.

Media Worker, Natasha Smith said protest action will be held at these organizations for their failure to address the clear case of discrimination.

“I don’t think Mae’s realize what they have done, they keep having this high handed approach.”

The protestors are not only demanding an apology for the boy and his parents but also to the entire Indigenous community.

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