THE incident on Monday in which a female teacher was threatened by a parent has led to TTUTA renewing its call for the removal of the principal of the Ste Madeline Secondary school.
TTUTA president Lynsley Doodhai described the incident as outrageous as a pregnant teacher was forced to lock herself in the school’s staff room to avoid being beaten with a length of wood brandished by the mother of a student who earlier that day, claimed the teacher had insulted her (the student).
Police had to escort the teacher off the compound in the midst of angry parents. Saying proper protocols were not followed by the principal in handling the matter, Doodhai declared: “TTUTA is outraged and incensed over this incident. When an irate parent visits a school with a complaint, the principal is supposed to meet with them and try to diffuse the situation. You don’t put the teacher to sit next to the parent as happened in this case.
“Having the parent address the teacher directly with obscene language and making threats is wrong. Although we are outraged by this, we are not surprised. The union has been calling on the ministry to deal with issues at Ste Madeleine secondary for quite a while as we view this school as a ticking time bomb. This is not the first issue involving that principal and we are once again calling on the Ministry and the Teaching Service Commission to remove the principal and launch a full investigation.”
Doodhai said although incidents have been investigated at the school in the past, reports sent by school supervisors appear to get ‘lost’ after they reach the ministry’s hands. “We are not holding our breath that anything will be done because we have seen full investigations taking place with the principal sitting there and nothing comes out of it,” Doodhai said.
Minister in the Ministry of Education Dr Lovell Francis, condemned the parent’s action, saying there are avenues that disgruntled parents should follow instead of confronting teachers. “There are avenues to express your dissatisfaction; there is no need for any parent to take it upon themselves to try to intimidate, threaten or confront any teacher.”
Asked if there is a visit being planned at the school, Francis said, “We visited that school in the past on similar issues but we can’t go around putting out every fire in every school...there are officers who would do their investigations and submit their reports.”
Newsday spoke to the pregnant teacher who said she went to school yesterday after learning that the school supervisors were visiting as she wanted to air her side of the story. However, shortly after arriving on the compound, she began experiencing labour pains and was taken to see a doctor. She said the pains were confirmed to be false labour pains and she had been cleared to go home. However, the teacher said that she will not return to classes until Monday.