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Ministry admits second WB teacher on leave

| 20/01/2017 | 7 Comments

(CNS): Education officials have confirmed that a second teacher at the primary school in West Bay had been placed on required leave by the department in November over an allegation of assault on a student. The revelation came at a meeting with the press Thursday, where Education Minister Tara Rivers and her ministry team answered questions about the recent ‘fake news’ regarding mould at Sir John A. Cumber Primary School and the most recent allegations against a teacher for assault.

But the officials confirmed that there are now two teachers from the school who are on required leave. This follows reports about assault allegations, which, as per the requirements of the Children Law (2012 Revision), were passed on to the Department of Children and Family Service (DCFS). In both cases the allegations progressed to police enquiries.

No one has been arrested, however, and nothing has been proven against either of the teachers. There are now three educators who are on required leave because of assault allegations from a department-wide team of over 750 teachers. The third was charged last year and is going through the court system.

Although the Department of Education Services now follows a legal protocol for the reporting of any allegations or incidents involving children to the DCFS, the ministry does not have a protocol or system in place for revealing publicly the allegation made against teaching staff.

The West Bay primary principal, Paul Samuels, said that parents are informed when a teacher is placed on leave while an allegation is investigated but they are not given the details about why the teacher will be absent from the school. Officials said they needed to find the balance for the mandatory process because the allegations can be completely unfounded.

They explained that as the Children Law goes into effect in schools, the public can expect to see more reports because everyone must follow a process, but it will not always mean that the teacher is removed.

In these two cases, however, the allegations have progressed to a police inquiry, though it appears the circumstances surrounding the two assault incidents at the school are quite different. The most recent is said to involve a teacher throwing a chair, while the earlier allegation in November appears to be related to an effort on the teacher’s part to separate two students involved in an altercation.

Samuels, who took over as principal this academic year, stated that the two teachers were at very different stages in their careers; one was a relatively new teacher and the other has been in the profession for many years.

Dealing with behavioural issues in the classroom is always a challenge, he noted, but teachers have all undergone training to help them stay safe and avoid what could be frivolous allegations or falling into error.

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Category: Crime, Education, Local News, Police

Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is a disgrace what is happening at our schools and especially all the turmoil in the SJACPS right now. We as parents are trying to remain positive and support the efforts being made by teachers and staff at the school, but in NO case of this nature are the children to be blamed. Teachers are adults and we are speaking about children who are 11 years of age and even younger. Too many of the teachers we encounter at the schools nowadays come to work unhappy and fed up for whatever reasons, none of them are being forced to work as teachers, as these are their chosen professions out of free will. We ALL have to deal with difficult people, whether co-workers or customers, and under NO circumstances whatsoever are we allowed to hit or abuse these persons, much less throw a chair at them. People can face jail time for this type of aggression! I have not been there when these issues have transpired, but something HAS to be done about this… yes, kids are trying and can test one’s patience quite often, but as the adults we are to be responsible and mature in dealing with situations. Walk away or seek help from the Principal or other school authorities! If you do not like children and are not happy working as a teacher, then quit your job and go home! Find something else to do! Too many kids are going through difficult times at home (and possibly acting up at school!), these kids need love and care, nurturing… they need a role model and someone who won’t give up on them or abuse them, not a teacher who sees them as a bother. I have heard too much yelling and cursing at the SJACPS for years when taking my child to school, I have had enough of this… Now this is not all teachers, but a handful of them that think that teaching involves unethical discipline methods. Where are the school principals and supervisors when this is happening? Why aren’t they doing anything about it? Teachers are in the blessed position to have a positive impact on a child. Each scenario is different, but too often I am seeing teachers acting as if their pupils are a bother and it is clear that they are unhappy in the jobs. I appeal to all teachers, the school principals, and the Hon. Minister of Education, let’s look at the bigger picture and address the issues. We need to stop blaming the kids and/or the parents, we are all in this together. Yes, it all starts at home, but the teachers are clearly a problem here! Let’s not make excuses for why a teacher would throw a chair or curse at a child, this is not allowed for any of us at our jobs. We would lose our jobs for throwing chairs or cursing at someone. To the Ministry of Education, when interviewing teachers, irregardless of how qualified the teachers are, teachers need to be screened for personality and other traits which could make them unfit for a teaching position at a primary school.




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  2. Support your teachers says:

    Mr. Samuel needs to step up and defend his teachers, and speak up for them if they are unable to do so….

    CNS: The rest of this comment has been posted here Challenges in the classroom




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    • Anonymous says:

      How can the principal defend a teacher who is being accused of throwing a chair and hurting a student? What defense is there for that?




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  3. Anonymous says:

    What the Minister needs to admit is whether or not this information was withheld from her and if so, what sanctions will she seek against those who did not provide her with proper advice.




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  4. PPM Bizzness says:

    Voters need to put Tara needs on required leave from the next elections Down wid da PPM and its surrrogates and street disciples?




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  5. Anonymous says:

    i don’t know how teachers manage with the anti social behavior and no discipline at home issues,.. its no wonder they snap.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    CNS, how many civil servants are there now, on “required leave”?




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