Nov 15, 2008 News
Twelve teachers of the New Market Primary School, in Number 63 Village, Corentyne, staged a sit-in yesterday to protest a charge being brought against one of the Grade Five teachers, who was physically assaulted by the mother of one of his students.
According to the teacher, who did not want to disclose his name for fear of marginalisation, on October 22, 2008, one of his students was misbehaving just after lunch time.
The teacher said that he told the child to let his mother meet with him at the end of classes.
The teacher said that there must have been some sort of misunderstanding, as the child stood up, took his things and left the classroom.
The teacher said that he dispatched one of his students to call the child back. However, the child had left the school compound and had gone straight home.
The teacher said that he thought nothing of it, and told himself that he would resolve the situation later, when the child came back.
Approximately 15 minutes later, the teacher said, some of his pupils excitedly told him that he was in trouble, as the child’s mother was seen coming to the school, armed with a cricket bat.
“Sir, yuh dead now,” the school children told the teacher. “Watch he (child) mommy comin’ wid a bat.”
It is alleged that the parent and the teacher had problems from an earlier episode, when the teacher had a difference of opinion with the parent.
The teacher said that he thought nothing of it and told his pupils to settle down and stop making noise. He said that he simply continued to mark books.
It is alleged that the parent entered the classroom and slammed the cricket bat she was wielding onto the teacher’s table.
The woman reportedly began swearing, despite the presence of children in the classroom, the teacher said.
“She told me that I was not qualified for my job and that I had no authority to send home her son,” the teacher explained.
The teacher said that after the mother had verbally abused him, she proceeded to hit him on the head with the bat.
At this point, the teacher said, the parent had caused a great deal of commotion and the other teachers had become aware of her presence. They apparently all rushed to the classroom.
The Level Head of the primary school apparently separated the teacher and the irate parent. The teacher said that at this point the parent tried to hit the Level Head, but was restrained by the Level Head.
It is alleged that the parent continued swearing throughout the episode, and said that the Head Mistress of the school would have to fire the teacher with whom she had the confrontation.
At this point, one of the students in the class grabbed the bat that the parent was holding and threw it through one of the windows.
The Level Head instructed one of the teachers who were present to go and lock the school gates, so that the parent could not leave the compound while the police were summoned.
The parent, explained the teacher, came to her senses and realised what was going on and left the school compound at this point, still swearing loudly.
The teacher said that soon after the parent had left, he went to the Number 51 Village Police Outpost and made a report, after which he went to a doctor. The medical certificate which he obtained showed that he sustained a 2.5 centimetre swelling to his head. He was also experiencing a headache.
The teacher said that, to his surprise and to the surprise of his colleagues, when he went to the doctor to obtain the medical certificate, the same parent was also there getting a similar medical certificate.
The parent, it is alleged, is claiming that she was ‘chucked up’ by the teacher when she went to the school. However, other teachers from the same school are maintaining that no one ever touched the parent in the school.
It has also been alleged that the parent went to another doctor for a medical certificate, but that doctor would not give her one as there was nothing wrong with her.
The matter was called in court twice, but the parent did not show up. She apparently made excuses that she had to go to the Guyana Human Rights Association.
When the parent and the teacher appeared before the court, on November 12, the magistrate read charges to both the teacher and the parent.
The two were both charged with assaulting each other, and both pleaded not guilty. The case has been adjourned to November 27, 2008.
The protesting teachers have said that they are outraged that their colleague was charged although he had done nothing wrong.
“If it can happen to him (teacher), it can happen to us.”
It is unclear whether or not the sit-in will continue on Monday.
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