General Secretary of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU), Corretta McDonald is again calling on the Ministry of Education to engage the body in discussions about violence in schools. This comes on the heels of two separate attacks this week.
One incident resulted in the hospitalization of a student and a teacher in Linden.
The other involved a teacher and student at the Houston Secondary School. McDonald second the second case is frightening, especially since the educator armed herself with a cutlass.
She further noted that despite requests to the ministry for dialogue on these troubling issues, there seems to be a reluctance from the administration to have pragmatic discussions.
“Let us put politics aside and deal with the issues in our school system. Long ago, children were raised by a village. Children had respect for their elders. This has become a social issue and a breakdown of maybe the family construct. We might be looking at this situation as an occurance of violence in schools but it has the potential to be something far worse,” McDonald said.
She expressed the view that administration continues to put politics before the safety of teachers and students. She pointed out that since the first incident last year at Grahams Hall Primary, little has been done to address the issue of violence in schools.
“It is sad that they continue to sit in their offices while our teachers are subjected to violence at the hands of parents and students. This is a situation, and again I say, is getting out of hand. We cannot work in isolation to fix this problem. We need to put aside our differences and come up with solutions,” the General Secretary said.
Guyana Standard understands that the teacher and parent involved in the Houston Secondary school incident were both released from custody after giving statements to the police. Both parties cast blame at each other, citing that they both exchanged words which fueled the heated fight on Thursday.
Police in a statement said that 43-year-old Kimone Gentle and a parent, 43-year-old Keola Stanton of Grove Housing Scheme, EBD, along with her 17-year-old son who is a fifth form student of the said school, were involved in a scuffle at the school.
During the incident, the teacher allegedly picked up a chair and dealt the parent several lashes about her body, causing her to lose balance and fall to the ground. She also received injuries to her body.
The 17-year-old male student, upon seeing such, reportedly went to his mother’s aid where he was also allegedly assaulted by the teacher.
Other teachers stepped in to stop the commotion, and the school’s security escorted the parent and her son out of the compound. The teacher then armed herself with a cutlass and charged behind the parent and her son but was calmed by other school teachers.
After the ordeal, the teacher and parent were arrested and taken to the Ruimveldt Police Station.