TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) Tobago Officer Orlando Kerr yesterday called on the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) to address the issue of indiscipline, bullying and violence at schools across the sister isle.
He spoke on the heels of last Wednesday’s melee at the Signal Hill Secondary school where 17-year-old Jaden Pereira was beaten so badly that he suffered a fractured skull and had to be flown to the Port of Spain General Hospital where he remains warded. Pereira, a Form Five student was hit with a concrete block by another student. The incident was recorded and videos posted to social media.
“We are in a reactive mode. When something happens, you would see someone from the Division saying they would look into it, but I am saying it shouldn’t be like that, it shouldn’t be that we are waiting until something happens. We have been asking for a long time now for all stakeholders to formulate how we are going to move forward,” Kerr said.
Schools Supervisor III Sherry-Anne Hackett confirmed Pereira underwent surgery at Port of Spain General Hospital on Wednesday night and is currently under observation. THA Chief Secretary and Secretary of the Division of Education, Innovation and Energy Kelvin Charles said incidents such as these will not be tolerated at the island’s schools and will be taken very seriously.
A release from the THA stated, “Our schools are supposed to be safe havens for learning. Incidents such as these are totally unacceptable and all necessary action will be taken to ensure there is fair justice. It is extremely sad that parents now have to worry about their children’s safety, when they have sent them to gain an education,” the release read.
ASP Sterling Roberts yesterday told Newsday that three male students were questioned about the incident and investigations are continuing.
Education Minister Anthony Garcia yesterday said, “I got a report from the Chief Secretary whose portfolio also includes education. I also spoke with the boy’s father and his grandmother and I am in contact with the Ministry of Health and the information I have is that the boy is recovering and doing well.”