After two recent reports of teachers being assaulted by parents at schools, the Education Minister Priya Manickchand on Tuesday said one of the students was transferred to ensure that the parent in question cannot interact with the teacher.
Also, she said the teachers who assaulted parents will be restricted from all schools.
“We will not be expelling students from the school system. We are duty bound to do what is in the best interest of minor children. Minor children cannot be held responsible for wreckless, careless, uncontrollable adults but we have to take certain realities into consideration.
“The child might not be able to stay in that school. That might not be best for the child if teachers are going to ignore the child.
“I can’t force teachers to interact with a child who has uncontrollable parents.
“…no child is going to be refused education but there may be causes for transfers,” the Education Minister said.
The Minister also said there is no justification for assaulting teachers at schools and she said that where issues arise, parents have the right to make complaints.
She added that this serious issue is being addressed by the Ministry and those who are involved are facing serious consequences.
“This is a very serious issue and we are saying unequivocally: any parent who assaults a teacher is going to be dealt with criminally and there will be consequences for that parent.
“…so even if we transfer the student, teachers are human beings and if teachers don’t believe that they want to put themselves at risk of attracting the attention of an uncontrollable parent then we may have to transfer a student.
“If we do that we will still make sure that the parent has no access to the teacher,” the minister said.
Minister Manickchand said parents who display disruptive and violent behaviour at schools are taking away their privilege of being involved in their child’s academic life because they will be restricted from entering any educational institution.
Further, she said this behaviour is not benefitting to students and rules are outlined for children being disciplined by teachers. She said the rules were breached and “people breaching the rules will be dealt with”.
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 week there were two reports of teachers being physically assaulted by parents. It was reported that a teacher, Shawn Marshall, was assaulted at the Graham’s Hall Primary School. Marshall was taken to the hospital with a swollen face and arms. Another teacher was allegedly physically assaulted by a parent at the St Angela’s Primary School located in Georgetown last Thursday.
The parent involved in the assault at St Angela’s made posts on social media where she said the teacher beat her son and had an attitude when confronted.