Orlando Kerr, Tobago Officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA), has condemned what he said is an upsurge in violence at schools on the island as a female attempted to force herself into the office of the principal as the Signal Hill Secondary school on Tuesday.
Kerr’s comments came as reports surfaced that a female parent was arrested by police for her actions.
Kerr, confirming this incident, saying that before the lunch period on Tuesday, the principal returned to her office after speaking with the parent about an issue concerning her child when the parent reportedly jumped over a barrier and tried to force her way into the principal’s office.
Reports are that the principal locked herself in the office, while MTS and safety officers at the school intervened and the police was called in.
Kerr said TTUTA was concerned about a rise in violence again teachers, noting another incident at the Bon Accord Government School last week Thursday.
“We have recently had a teacher at the Bon Accord Government school being assaulted, then we had another teacher who was assaulted by a parent, and now we are having another situation of a female parent attempted to forcefully enter the office of the Principal.
“We are very concerned about these incidents and we are hoping that the community of Tobago will condemn the actions of these parents, we are hoping that it is not something that will continue,” he said.
Kerr advised parents that there were avenues to treat with issues concerning their children at schools.
“They can through the School Supervisors, through the Division of Education, to treat with these matters. It is totally unacceptable that parents believe that they can enter the compound of any school and perpetrate violence against other children, or teachers or any members of staff on the compound.
“I am very concerned that this is a pattern that is developing in Tobago and we do hope that with the arrest of this parent, it will send a message to the other persons who are thinking of doing such things, that it is totally unacceptable,” he said.
Last Thursday, a female parent also walked into the Bon Accord Government Primary School and engaged in a scuffle with a male teacher. On March 2, at the St Michael’s Anglican School in Whim, two parents engaged in a scuffle on the school’s compound.
Attempts to contact Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, who is also Education Secretary, was unsuccessful as all calls to his mobile went unanswered. Officials at the Signal Hill school declined comment on the incident.