Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Sex at city school: teacher under probe

Sex scandals involving three teachers and pupils at three separate schools are engaging the attention of the Ministry of Education, according to Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh yesterday.

The latest scandal involved a teacher at a Port of Spain all-girls secondary school, where he is alleged to have had sex on the school's compound with a 15-year-old pupil and sent nude images of himself to another.

The teacher, who on Monday tendered his resignation from the school, is also alleged to have appeared naked on a Skype video chat, which was recorded, with a third female pupil.

Gopeesingh yesterday said his Ministry is investigating the incident and stated that there are two similar incidents in two separate schools which are engaging the attention of his Ministry.

Gopeesingh, during a brief telephone interview, added that he did not have all the facts on the latest incident.

Asked whether he intends to launch a wider probe to determine if there may have been similar incidents at other schools where the teacher was assigned, Gopeesingh said at this stage he was not aware of any further incidents involving the teacher.

"I am yet to receive a report on the incident but I have been informed about it today (yesterday) and when I do have a full report I will be able to say more on the matter at that stage. However, I could say that we are also looking into two similar incidents at two other schools," Gopeesingh said.

Counselling will be provided for the affected pupils, Gopeesingh said.

Attempts to speak with the school's principal proved futile. The Express was informed that the principal was engaged in a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Education.

The Express was reliably informed that the teacher has been engaged in inappropriate conduct with several pupils for over two years.

The scandal broke last week when the parent of a pupil saw nude images of the teacher on the daughter's laptop computer and questioned her about it.

On Thursday, the parent went to the school and informed the principal about the images and the police were called in. The girl, her parent and the teacher were taken to a police station where they were all interviewed.

Police said the man was subsequently released pending further enquiries as they did not have sufficient evidence to charge or further detain him.

Yesterday, officers were expected to return to the school in an attempt to speak with the 15-year-old who reportedly admitted to having sex with the teacher on two occasions on the school's compound.

One parent yesterday told the Express that several complaints had been lodged against the teacher in the past regarding his inappropriate behaviour with students but these complaints fell on deaf ears.

"They were only interested in protecting the image of the school and not looking at the impact such incidents could have on the girl,"the parent added.