Parent claims teacher broke ruler on child’s hand amid beating

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The woman involved in a scuffle with a teacher at the St Angela’s Primary School in Georgetown and later arrested on Thursday claims the teacher broke a ruler on her son’s hand while scolding him and later refused to apologise.

In posts uploaded to her Facebook page under the name ‘La Toya’, the parent disclosed that the teacher used a wooden chalkboard ruler to discipline her son.

She claims that ruler, of which she posted a picture, broke and a piece of the wood was stuck in the nine-year-old child’s hand.

She related that when a peaceful visit was paid to the school on Friday, the teacher ‘had an attitude’.

She claimed that the headteacher asked her not to make a report of the matter to the police or Education Ministry.

While the Headmaster was apologetic, the parent said she requested an apology from the teacher and she was assured that the teacher would apologise but instead, the teacher ‘sucked her teeth’ when confronted.

“She came to work after ten and soon as she see me is a cut eye and suck teeth and y’all telling me that I shouldn’t do what… I was walking away and she telling me how she gone catch me on the road and beat me…” the post stated.

She also said “It’s irrefutable that we should respect our teachers and with that it is inevitable that if a teacher beats a child to cause harm and then no remorse then the parent will retaliate. you are protecting teachers but who’s protecting our kids if not us who?”

The parent involved in the fight at St Angela’s Primary School and the ruler

In a video of the fight, circulating on social media, the parent and teacher are seen tugging, pulling and yelling at each other.

Importantly, based on guidelines under the Ministry of Education, corporal punishment in schools must only be administered by the head teacher, deputy, or designated senior mistress or master. Even with those guidelines, there have been complaints circulating online that suggest that teachers within classrooms are disciplining students.

Last year there were numerous complaints of students being beaten by teachers at school and Education Minister Priya Manickchand said there is no need to discipline children in schools by hitting them and hinted at a review the guidelines for corporal punishment in the school system.

After the fight, the Guyana Teacher’s Union President Mark Lyte in an invited comment to Royston Drakes Production, said “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.”

This fight occurred just a day after another teacher, Shawn Marshall attached at the Graham’s Hall Primary, was physically assaulted by a parent on Wednesday. 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.

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