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Thursday 13 December 2018
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UTT Professor barred from graduation

University of Trinidad and Tobago Professor Valerie Stoute.
University of Trinidad and Tobago Professor Valerie Stoute.

A UNIVERSITY of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) professor was barred from entering the UTT O'Meara Campus on Wednesday to attend the annual graduation ceremony.

Professor Valerie Stoute, professor in practice of environmental studies, in an email statement said she was barred from entering the campus by security staff and she believes her civil rights were breached.

Stoute claimed she heard the head of security saying she had no right to be on the campus and she could be jailed. She said the directive, blocking a professor from graduation ceremonies, is supposedly justified because of the terms of her administrative leave but they were not written in stone.

UTT Manager Marketing and Communications Janelle Peters said Stoute is currently on administrative leave "which prohibits her from entering any UTT Campus and participating in any related UTT activities."

"Professor Stoute is fully aware of this and on the afternoon of Tuesday November 13, 2018, the University, in fact, received a request from Professor Stoute’s lawyer requesting permission to attend graduation. At that time, a decision was taken to uphold the terms of the administrative leave and this was communicated to her lawyer around midday on Wednesday November 14, 2018. In spite of this communication, Professor Stoute still proceeded to enter the UTT O’Meara Campus and attend the graduation ceremony on Wednesday November 14, 2018, a clear violation of the terms of her administrative leave."

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