Education Minister Anthony Garcia is expected to receive a report today on an incident involving a student of the Mayaro Secondary School who was recently videotaped using obscene language in front of a teacher in a classroom.
The 29-second video, which has been widely shared on social media since Thursday, appears to have been recorded by another student.
Garcia held an emergency meeting with ministry officials on Friday and called for an immediate investigation into the incident.
“I am awaiting a report from the school supervisor III from the area by Monday. I can’t do anything until I get a full report,” he said.
Garcia, who did not give the age of the student, said for justice to be done, all sides must be heard. If the student is found guilty of wrongdoing, he can be suspended for up to seven days. The principal can also apply for an extension of that suspension.
“Depending on the severity of the situation the student could even be expelled,” Garcia said.
In the video, the male student is heard using obscene language in the presence of his laughing peers. Towards the end of the video, the student points to a teacher sitting at a desk with his hands covering his mouth and in a threatening manner tells the teacher that he would see him in Sangre Grande.
At Friday’s Joint Select Committee on Human Rights, Equality and Diversity, which looked into sexual harassment in the education sector, president of the National Parent Teachers Association (NPTA) Raffiena Ali- Boodoosingh primary and secondary students are using obscene language in schools and no one is addressing the problem.
Garcia, who expressed concern about deviant behaviour by students, said: “We have been trying our best to curtail incidents of indiscipline in our schools. We have succeeded to a large extent. However, there will always be isolated cases and when those cases arise we will deal with it.”
- by Shaliza Hassanali. Photo by Anisto Alves.