Teacher accused in beating of girl put on special leave

Stabroek News
June 19, 2001

The teacher, who flogged and injured nine-year-old Nickesha Garraway, a pupil of Lodge/Enterprise Primary school, has been sent on special leave pending the outcome of investigations and recommendations to be made to the Teaching Service Commission (TSC).

Stabroek News has learnt from reliable sources that the teacher, who was sent on special leave by the Georgetown Education Department last Friday, has been asked to report to the school's headteacher on a daily basis.

The teacher flogged Garraway with a bamboo rod on May 30 and she suffered a fractured clavicle (collar bone) as a result.

Garraway is back at school writing the end-of-term examinations.

According to the source, the education department is still continuing its investigations but will forward the current status of its probe to the Chief Education Officer Ed Caesar with a recommendation to be made to the TSC to interdict the teacher from duty pending investigations..

Stabroek News understands that the teacher, who had been absent from school following the flogging, had requested a week's leave to travel out of the city and this had been granted.

She was taken into police custody on June 10 and released on a $10,000 bail the following day. The child's mother Wendy Garraway had reported the injury to the Georgetown Education Department which had advised her to report the matter to the police. Stabroek News was yesterday unable to contact the police on the status of their investigations.

Just last Monday, another child at Vryman's Erven Junior High School in New Amsterdam, Kellon Felix was beaten with a piece of wood and suffered a fractured elbow. The matter was reported to the police and the teacher has been released on $10,000 bail. Stabroek News understands that the teacher was still teaching at the school yesterday.

In recent months, too, another teacher who fractured a student's arm at Dolphin Secondary left the job before the Department of Education could have instituted disciplinary measures. That matter was not reported to the police.

Since the recent beating incidents, Caesar has announced that the Ministry of Education is to put forward a 30-point plan to completely eliminate corporal punishment in schools. This plan was being deliberated on by education officials, headteachers, parents and teachers over the past year.

The law pertaining to corporal punishment in schools at present says that corporal punishment should be administered by the headteacher or a senior teacher so delegated by the headteacher and in the presence of the headteacher. (Miranda La Rose)