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Monday 14 October 2019
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Garcia, Doodhai: Investigate ‘abuse’ clips

Lynsley Doodhai, 
President of TUTTA
Lynsley Doodhai, President of TUTTA

BOTH Education Minister Anthony Garcia and TTUTA head Lyndsey Doodhai yesterday lent their support to an investigation of audio clips of a teacher verbally abusing several primary school children at a Port of Spain school.

The pupils had secretly recorded several rants by the teacher who had allegedly demeaned their backgrounds, namely their neighbourhoods and the work lives and personal lives of their parents.

Reports are the teacher had offhandedly said she would kill one female pupil, that the pupils were “stink, despicable and disgusting” with "s–t in their brains" and they should jump in front of a bus.

Last Wednesday a child sent a recording of the rants to a parents group on WhatsApp, evoking upset in many parents.

Commenting on one of the five audio clips, Doodhai said he hoped a thorough investigation would be carried out by the authorities to determine the authenticity of the audio clip .

“If or when that has been confirmed, then the content of the audio clip needs to be examined to determine if any laws or regulations of the country have been broken. TTUTA will not condone any instances of verbal abuse or threats to students by teachers.

“It is inexcusable for any teacher to be abusive or threatening to their charges. If such an incident did occur, it is an isolated incident and not the norm that characterises teachers' interaction with their students.”

Garcia said he would instruct the Director of School Supervision to investigate the audio clips. He added that it needed to be investigated before anything more could be said or done. Yesterday a police officer speaking anonymously told Newsday that aggrieved parents should use the opportunity to report the concerns of any abused child, and upon getting these complaints the police would investigate. Newsday understands the Child Protection Unit (CPU) at Belmont Police Station has received complaints from parents involved in this particular matter.
(With reporting by Jensen La Vende)

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