Alleged assault at city school
Ministry issues strict guidelines
Stabroek News
November 10, 2001

The Ministry of Education has expressed alarm at the alleged brutal treatment meted out to a pupil of Stella Maris Primary by the male parent of a classmate and has issued a number of guidelines parents should follow when visiting an educational institution.

In a strongly-worded release, acting Chief Education Officer, Geneveive Whyte-Nedd, that the Ministry of Education "wishes to inform the public that it would not condone any such behaviour against children and would take the necessary action to prevent a recurrence."

Ten-year-old Paul Douglas, a Primary Three 'A' pupil of Stella Maris was reportedly beaten by the father of one of his classmates on October 31 and was subsequently hospitalised over the weekend. The parent, a businessman, who is reportedly cooperating with the police in their investigations has not been charged but has been placed on $5,000 bail by the Alberttown Police Station.

Whyte-Nedd advised parents that when their children had difficulties with other children, Whyte-Nedd said they should contact the headteacher or principal. If the parents were not satisfied with the response given they should then contact the Education Officer in the particular region.

Whyte-Nedd listed the ministry's guidelines which parents should observe when visiting any educational institution:

* If possible call in advance and make an appointment.

* If there is a guard, report to him or her and this should include signing a register. Then await instructions from that guard. If no guard is at the post, proceed directly to the headteacher or principal.

* Report to the headteacher or person in charge. State your business.

* If the matter relates to a specific teacher, the headteacher should send for the teacher to be present during the discussion. If possible another senior teacher should be present.

* Visitors should not go directly to any classroom. All discussions/meetings with students and/or teachers should take place either in the headteacher's office or a reception area.

* Parents/guardians are not permitted to discipline their (or other) children on the school premises.

* In the event that the matter is not satisfactorily dealt with at school level, refer to the Regional Education Officer or the Assistant Chief Education Officer (Georgetown) as is appropriate.

* Visitors should at all times behave in an orderly manner.