A teacher was physically assaulted by a parent at the St Angela’s Primary School located in Georgetown on Thursday while teachers and parents participated in a solidarity movement to stop violence against teachers.
The teacher, whose identity was not disclosed, received injuries and a swollen face, Guyana Teacher’s Union President Mark Lyte said in an invited comment to Royston Drakes Production.
“This is becoming too frequent where teachers are being assaulted by parents and guardians. It is something that has to be addressed so we are going to continue to make the call to the ministry to get satisfaction,” Lyte stated.
He said the security guard and other staff who tried to intervene were also injured.
On Wednesday, it was reported that another teacher, Shawn Marshall, was assaulted at the Graham’s Hall Primary School. Marshall was taken to the hospital with a swollen face and arms.
Chief Education Officer Saddam Hussain, in a statement issued by the Ministry of Education, said that the Ministry will take all “appropriate actions” to ensure that teachers are able to work in a safe and secured environment.
Following the reports of the incident, teachers across the country wore black to show their support for the teacher. Parents of students at the school also joined the effort in a peaceful protest at the school on Thursday morning.
The News Room visited the school where a parent said she was upset about the attack on the teacher who is always kind and helpful. She further said the violent behaviour portrayed by the parent not only affected the teacher but also the students who were crying after witnessing the ordeal.
“Whoever knows Sir Shawn, don’t know him as a bad person. He is very quiet and is a very kind person so this is what got me annoyed.
“To what I was told by Sir Shawn himself, at this moment, he can’t eat or lift his hand; it’s swollen. His mouth is swollen, his head at the back is swollen… I want justice for Sir Shawn and this that happened to Sir Shawn, I wouldn’t want or like for it to happen to any other teachers,” Tina (only name given) said.
She referenced the incident at St Angela’s and said while the parents and teachers are calling for justice for one teacher another was assaulted and it must be stopped.
The Education Ministry has condemned acts of violence against teachers and in its statement said all appropriate actions to ensure teachers are safe and secured at work will be taken.
A restriction on access to the school compounds has since been implemented for parents who show violent behaviour at schools. Further, the Police or any other institution or authority receives the Ministry’s support to take whatever action the law prescribes.