My hands are tied.
That was the message Education Minister Anthony Garcia delivered to protesting members of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) of the San Fernando Methodist Primary school, when he met with them yesterday evening to discuss the resinstatment of a teacher recently freed on a charge of molesting a student.
That incident is alleged to have happened several years ago, but the charge was dismissed earlier this year when the court learned that the student, a United States citizen, had since migrated. The PTA embarked on protest action after the teacher was reinstated and resumed his substantive position.
PTA president Darren Medford said Garcia indicated to members of the board and the PTA while he understood their concerns, the power to transfer, discipline or promote a teacher, lies in the hands of the Teaching Service Commission (TSC).
Along with Medford, the meeting included, the PTA’s vice president Romel Sookdeo and treasurer Donna Taylor as well as chairman of the Methodist School board, identified only as Miss Oliver and her secretary.
In an interview after the meeting, Medford said “the meeting was very cordial and we thank Mr Garcia and SS11 Mr Lakshmana Sharma, who was instrumental in getting us this audience with the minister.
“Mr Garcia indicated to us that his hands are tied and advised the Board and the parents to approach the TSC which has the ability to transfer, discipline or promote. He told us that the resinstatement of the teacher was on the advice of the TSC.
“The minister also asked that we let good sense prevail and not disrupt the education of our children to put them at a disadvantage. “
Medford said the education of their children is also of paramount importance.
“We only rest and reflected on Wednesday to show the ministry and the TSC that we are serious about this situation. We have a very good SEA class which we know will make us proud next year and we are trying our best not to disrupt the class.”