Teacher sent on leave pending action

By Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
October 27, 2000

The male teacher, who allegedly sexually abused six male students at a West Demerara school, has been sent on leave with pay pending action taken by the Teaching Service Commission. Action is expected to be taken based on recommendations made by the Ministry of Education.

The teacher was sent on leave on Tuesday by Regional Education Officer Yoman Singh on instructions from Chief Education Officer, Ed Caesar.

According to reports from West Demerara, a team from the Ministry of Education headed by acting Deputy Chief Education Officer (Development), Romeo McAdam, on Tuesday interviewed the students, parents and the teacher on the allegations. The team's report was reportedly handed over to Caesar on Wednesday. It is expected that based on this report Caesar will forward the ministry's recommendations on the matter to the TSC.

Stabroek News could not confirm how many students the team spoke with. However, this newspaper understands that one of the students, who alleged that he was abused more often than the three with whom Stabroek News had spoken, met the ministry's team. Stabroek News had been unable to reach this student. This student was the one who had blurted out that the teacher was fond of oral sex while the teacher was flogging him in class on October 6.

A source said that the teacher vehemently denied the allegations.

Stabroek News was reliably informed that the teacher has presented his case to the Guyana Teachers' Union claiming that he was a victim of the parents and the students.

Since the allegations came to light reports were made to the Region Three Education Department and the La Grange Police Station but no action had been taken. As such the parents contacted Stabroek News, which in turn alerted Caesar last Thursday.

Since then the police took statements from some of the students, their parents and the accused, who were summoned to the La Grange Police Station last Friday. Up to press time Stabroek News could not ascertain whether the teacher had been charged by the police.

Four of the six boys, who alleged that they were abused were transferred to a school out of their village at their parents' requests. Even though the allegations had surfaced more than two weeks ago and reports made to the Department of Education and the police the teacher had continued teaching. Since then a number of students claimed that he and relatives of his had made threatening remarks to some of the students.

And in a related development, one parent told Stabroek News on Wednesday that she was concerned about her son as students at the new school to which he was transferred had begun to tease him and he was embarrassed by the whole affair.

One of the boys was granted a transfer shortly after he left the village to live with one of his parents in another village. This transfer was effected even before the story broke in the newspaper last week. Stabroek News was reliably informed that this student had earlier alleged sexual abuse by the same teacher and a report to this effect had been made-before October 6--to the Region Three Education Department.

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