By Nicholas Peters
John Adams, the Aishalton teacher who was allegedly slapped by a member of the Presidential Guard, is now claiming that he is under intense scrutiny and could be facing a probable transfer to another teaching district.
Several weeks ago, Adams was at a People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) public meeting in the Region 9 village, where President Donald Ramotar delivered the feature remarks in an open forum. During the rally, Adams was said to be openly questioning the policies of the President and his administration.
As the speech continued, Adams related that the Head of State was not addressing matters that directly affected Aishalton village. Rather, he said that the President focused more on lambasting the parliamentary opposition and independent news outlets, Stabroek News and Kaieteur News.
After admitting to criticising the President’s speech, Adams says that he was singled out by rally organisers and later confronted by two members of the Presidential Guard. Adams claims the men questioned him on whether he did in fact criticise the President’s remarks, which resulted in one of the guards slapping him.
At the same meeting, a recording was later released whereby the President is heard addressing another villager who spoke out during his speech.
In the recording President Ramotar could be heard saying that the opposition “doesn’t have a history that they can be proud of”.
A villager is then heard saying “Yea, yea like Jagdeo.”
To this the President retorted, “You don’t know anything about Jagdeo; if he bin hay he mighta slap yuh, coz yuh stupid,”
Adams has since brought the issue to the public’s attention and consequently feels that he is being singled out by members of the Aishalton community for his actions.
A new school term has commenced and Adams related that during a village meeting, several members were looking to have him transferred to another teaching district.
Speaking to this publication, he claimed that those who were primarily supporting the motion to transfer him were avid supporters of the ruling PPP. He cites that the villagers’ reason for having him transferred was due to his participation in certain protest demonstrations.
Adams does not deny his participation in said demonstrations, however he clarified that they were done during his downtime and not in the capacity of a public educator.
“The only time I protested was in August on World Indigenous Day in front of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs,” said Adams, who explained that this was when school was closed, and on his personal time.
Meanwhile, when contacted, Toshao of Aishalton, Bernard Conrad told Kaieteur that the village does not have the power to transfer Adams to another teaching district. That decision is left up to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
The village leader said that members of the community did raise concerns about Adams remaining in the village, relating that the teacher has “turned Aishalton into a bad image”.
According to Conrad, a number of other reasons were given for the transfer of the educator, stating that he has a “history of bad behaviour”, which Adams has adamantly denied.
When asked whether Adams deserved to be slapped for expressing his displeasure with government at a public meeting, Conrad said that the police should have been called in to address the teacher’s “disrespectful” behaviour at the rally. He further stated that he would not condone the Guard’s slapping of Adams, or anyone.
In speaking to a representative from the TSC on whether Adams is indeed being considered to be transferred, Kaieteur News was made to understand that no official report has reached the committee against the teacher. As such the TSC is unable to comment.
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