Mae’s school publicly apologises to Indigenous boy

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The Mae’s private school Wednesday issued a public apology to a nine-year-old student who was humiliated for being dressed in his Indigenous outfit while attending the school’s culture day on May 25.

A statement from Director of the School, Stacey French, said the school “deeply regrets the incident, and offer most sincere and profound apologies to the student and his family for the hurt and pain which he suffered as a result.”

On the day, the Primary school student, Joshua Chacon was decked out in his straw skirt, Amerindian headdress and other accessories when his mother said the child was told that he was “inappropriately dressed.”

The incident saw multiple protests from the Indigenous community and the parents of the child who called for an apology as they felt the school’s action reeked of discrimination.

The school on Wednesday said it was never the “intention to hurt, disrespect or degrade such an important part of the beautiful cultural mosaic which constitutes Guyana,” as it recommitted to cultural diversity.

The private school also said it is dedicated to protecting and promoting indigenous culture.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Education disclosed that the apology to the parents of the child was given during a meeting between the parents, the leadership of the school, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Cohesion.

“Today’s engagement was the third of three meetings hosted by the Ministry of Education to resolve the matter,” the release noted.

Both parents accepted the apology while Mr. Chacon went further to state that he would like to see more efforts aimed at bringing awareness to culture in Guyana.

Present at the meeting were Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry; Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson; Deputy Chief Education Officer (Admin), Ingrid Trotman; Ministry of Education’s Legal Officer, Kelly-ann Payne-Hercules; Private School Coordinator within the Ministry of Education, Doodmattie Singh; Programme Coordinator – Department of Social Cohesion, Culture, Youth and Sport, Sharon Patterson and Administrator of Mae’s Schools, Lucinda Mc Curdy.

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