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Pupil slaps teacher

TTUTA: School violence cause for concern

By Susan Mohammed and Sue-Ann Wayow

A teacher at Jordan Hill Presbyterian Primary School, near Princes Town, ended up in hospital yesterday after being knocked to the ground by a Fifth Standard pupil.

And at Curepe Presbyterian Primary School, a First Year pupil slapped a teacher several times during a class session.

The Jordan Hill assault has been reported to police, while the Curepe case has been reported to the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA). 

Lynsley Doodhai, TTUTA’s second vice-president, said the teacher at Curepe observed there were scratches and scribbles in a book. When the teacher asked about it,  the pupil allegedly slapped her several times. 

Doodhai said TTUTA was alarmed at the level of school violence, especially in primary schools.

“It is cause for concern,” he said. 

The 32-year-old female teacher at Jordan Hill Presbyterian was taken to hospital for treatment after a male pupil assaulted her.  

The Express was told the boy was questioned by police officers of Princes Town Police Station yesterday. 

Doodhai said he received a report that the boy had a history of deviant behaviour.

Doodhai said he was told the teacher was in the washroom when she heard a noise at the door.

“She came outside and asked who pelt the door. The (suspect) allegedly slapped her and threw her on the ground,” said Doodhai.

The teacher was treated at hospital for bruises to the back, neck, arm and elbow.

Doodhai said TTUTA is investigating the incident. 

And in San Fernando, a trainee at Presentation College, San Fernando, reported to police that her cell phone and tablet were stolen on the school’s compound. 

The 22-year-old trainee reported to police that the items were left in her handbag. 

According to a police report, she said that around 11.20 a.m. she left her Samsung Tab 3, valued $3,500, and a Blackberry Torch, valued at $4,000, in the school’s staff room. 

She said she made a check for the items at around 12.35 p.m. and they were missing. 

A report was made to San Fernando Police Station and WPC Dyer is investigating. 

In response to these incidents, Vallence Rambarath, president of the National Primary Schools’ Principals’ Association (Napspa), said: “There is a major problem in schools with respect to behaviour and the history of violence in schools must be brought to the front burner now. 

“We cannot sit by and say it does not exist. The recent incidents point to the fact that students are unruly, impolite, very disrespectful and disruptive and it is affecting the education system.”

The Ministry of Education needs to meet with all persons involved in the system to discuss the issue of violence in schools, he said.

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