N Touch
Monday 23 July 2018
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Letters to the Editor

What should the principal have done?

THE EDITOR: The shocking and disturbing video footage showing the level of bullying and violent behaviour of some students at the Siparia West Secondary School raised a lot of concerns.

One of the immediate observations brought to light by the media and Ministry of Education was what appeared to be the absence of supervision at the time of the incidents.

However, given the brazen attitude of those criminal-minded students, it is very difficult to understand the justification for removing the principal who took sole responsibility, risking his job and personal safety to intervene in the best interest of the school.

In fact, most teachers do not want to be placed in such schools since they are faced with this type of behaviour from students on a regular basis.

Therefore, his removal sends a wrong message to those students identified in the videos as well as others who wish to follow in their footsteps.

The actions taken by the principal when confronting those unruly and disrespectful students are no different from law enforcement officers of the confronting lawbreakers.

Other than the location, the circumstances are the same, since their behaviour most likely extends beyond the school compound.

In other words, you cannot reason with these types of lawbreakers by using those magic words we learn at school, such as “please” and “thank you,” or you’ll end up like their victims.

With all the stated concerns about lack of supervision at the school, the removal of corporal punishment, and the fact that Siparia West is identified as a high-risk and low-performance school, it would be comforting if the Minister of Education and the CEO in the ministry explain what immediate actions should have been taken to ensure the safety of other students at the time when the principal saw it fit and proper to intervene.

VASHTI BOWLAH via e-mail

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