Actions not worth defending
In the letter, “Defending the actions of a rice farmer” (Kaieteur News, 03/11/2010), responding to a letter by a teacher, Parbattie Jawahir, “Is this a case of a person being a law unto himself?” (Kaieteur News, 31/10/2010), Pam Bacchus seems to be very upset that this teacher has put the actions of her father and his employees to the public.
Let me state here that I don’t know either of them, as I’m from a different region. However, I do travel a lot, and I often travel in the same buses with children from Swami School.
I must say that I find these children mostly quiet and courteous, as opposed to some children of other schools.
I even mentioned this to my colleagues and other people around many times. Ms. Bacchus accuses the teacher of “attacking” her father who she knows “nothing” about, whilst threatening to open a “can of worms”. Is this some sort of blackmail to stifle the truth? Ms. Bacchus also claims that, “arrested, forcible imprisonment and extortion are strong words to use.
She even questions the teacher’s intelligence! What she did not say is if these were “wrong” words to use, and did not deny anything the teacher said had happened.
Ms. Jawahir stated that one of the boys received several slaps and was threatened with a cutlass.
This is physical abuse/threatening behaviour for which the guilty party should be put before the courts, more so as it was committed against a minor.
Next, she claims that these boys were forcibly taken to the farmer’s house and kept there for several hours; “arrested” was not the correct word: these boys were “abducted” – taken against their will; another matter for the courts.
The teacher also claims that $10,000 was paid before the boys were released – this is definitely extortion, or may even be regarded as ransom! Will someone please call the police? How much dried coconuts/guavas could be bought for that amount of money? Could these boys ever fetch that much?
It is normal practice for schools to send children in their communities to ask for (not steal) little things, which are readily given.
Most certainly all Guyana knows that these boys were not sent to steal guavas, or anything else.
What is disturbing here is the treatment that was meted out to these children and further, someone actually defending such treatment!
The school should stand up for this teacher, who should be commended for bringing such ‘high and mighty’ behaviour out in the open, and have no fear, whatsoever, in that “can of worms”, as she obviously has no part in it.
M. S. Baksh