Latest update June 2nd, 2023 12:49 AM
Mar 27, 2023 Letters
Kaieteur News – There has been an upsurge in violent attacks in our schools and this development is troubling, as these attacks are becoming more and more frequent, or one should say in rapid succession. This trend has to be addressed urgently before someone gets seriously injured or even killed. In this regard I am calling on the Education Authorities to bring into focus the following three points.
It is quite clear to all at this time that these school invasions stem from three main causes:
(a) Corporal punishment in schools
(b) Race and Politics
(c) Poor conflict resolution skills.
So let us begin at the beginning, and I shall begin by very bluntly addressing the issue of corporal punishment, this aspect of disciplining a child has to be abolished. The action of someone trying to instill obedience in a child by putting one’s hands on him is a definite no. That method of the use of a cane, whip or strap on another must be done away with, end of discussion! It might have worked in times past, however, in the modern era this type of discipline is cause for alarm, in the sense that parents, guardians even students themselves are reacting violently to it.
As the proverb says violence begets violence and this is the manifestation we are seeing right before our very eyes. What I have brought to your attention here was seen in three instances, at The Graeme’s Hall Secondary, The St Agnes and St Angela Schools. Because the one being “disciplined” can always come up with the reasoning that he/she was unfairly dealt with, whether theirs was too harsh or the person administering the punishment was very selective in doing so. The fact is, no one has the legal right to enforce pain and blunt trauma on another, as a form of correction, and that goes for teacher, parent, guardian and student. There are other forms of discipline and these must be utilised, therefore, the simple solution is to abolish corporal punishment from our schools.
Now, the second aspect of our discussion as it relates to these violent school invasions is race and politics, I am of the opinion that these are cases where the school system is reaping the raw negatives of their actions, or in other words, it is the negative, far reaching effect of a bad parent/teacher/school interaction. You might be puzzled by my use of the term “negative parent/teacher/school relation” and as such be quick to ask the question, where is Mister Adams going with this one.
So to lend clarity to the matter I call us into remembrance of the incident involving a justice’s daughter. Here we had a parent who was concerned about his daughter’s safety and wellbeing at the school after news of her being assaulted by a male student of the said school. Now, the normal thing for any normal parent to do was to visit the school to get down to the bottom of the matter. On his first encounter with the administration, he was cold shouldered by the principal there, and got no redress.
On his second visit, the parent took along a policeman as an independent witness to the proceedings. On that second visit the very same lame excuse was made by the principal, I am very busy I cannot speak to you. On the second visit, things got a little heated to which the school’s administration and a politically aligned union readily jumped in on the airwaves to castigate the parent, who clearly was doing the right thing in wanting to be properly apprised as to the goings on at that school, and to know of his daughter’s safety and wellbeing.
And here’s my point, to be rebuffed on two occasions would cause any parent to be annoyed, I am talking from my standpoint I might have been tempted to do something very primitive and crude, were it my child. As investigation would prove, that principal had an abhorrence for the parent’s race and her own misguided perception as to what his political affiliation might be. That political stereotyping was vividly evident at The St Agnes and Woodley Park Cotton Tree Schools, when politics and race became a critical issue.
Meanwhile, The PNC Dominated Teacher’s Union is complicit in all of this, in that they keep harping on the race and/or political affiliation of the parents who came to those schools, adding fuel to the fire of an already volatile situation. Well, as fate would have it they are now reaping the rewards of their foolish actions, because the harsh invasions that are now taking place are the parents and students of your own kind, deal with it now! The parents of your own race are not taking it lightly, they are coming to confront you all with violence that is very severe.
My last point deals with poor conflict resolution skills being implemented in our schools, and the latest issue involving the teacher at Houston Secondary speaks volumes. Here we have a conflict situation developing between the teacher and a student which later sees the parent coming to the school. The situation was not pleasant between the teacher and student, which logically meant that the meeting with an angry parent would be any way different.
In such circumstances let the Headteacher handle the situation in an amicable manner, this was not to be, in that the teacher was approached which caused an escalation of the matter, punches were thrown and a full-fledged street brawl resulted. The teacher in question was not gentle in her response, but acted the bravado by arming herself with a cutlass and marched around the school’s compound in a lunatic rage. Now, what would have happened if the student and parent armed themselves in like manner? That’s the question many cannot answer.
Not to be undone, the typical useless political teacher’s union stepped in pontificating their empty rhetoric. Of course I am sure under legal tutelage, both parties opted for an amicable solution, failing which both parties would have been charged for disorderly conduct, the teacher bearing the brunt of the blame. In a court of law the teacher would have been harshly dealt with for arming herself with a dangerous weapon. The law would take it that the other parties were not armed, so there was no need for the teacher to do so. In the eyes of the law the teacher should have acted responsibly and call in Law Enforcement if she felt threatened, not to take the law into her own hands.
I must hasten to a close here, but suffice it to say if those plans highlighted earlier are not taken into serious consideration, I shudder to think of what lies ahead in the future, God forbid more of these things would take place. So I hope that the Ministry of Education through its minister, make the necessary steps to effectively change the way we conduct ourselves in the education system.
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