Garcia gets ‘cussing’ in class report today

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.

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