On Thursday April 28th we told you about the strong allegation made against a teacher carrying out her duties at a school in the Corozal District. The teacher was transferred to another classroom after she was accused of slapping a nine year old student three times during class.

The father of the child alleged that after the incident he reported the matter to the principal of the school but nothing was done. He then sought assistance from the Ministry of Education but according to him, this also proved to be a dead end so he decided to take his two children out of school until the matter was resolved.

When we contacted the Corozal District Education Department for answers we were told that the matter was under investigation. Today Corozal District Centre Manager, Jahmore Lopez verified that statement by telling us that while the father of the child might have gotten the impression that the serious matter was not being dealt with, it was.

Screen_Shot_2016-05-04_at_7.58.16_PMJahmore Lopez Corozal District Centre Manager

“There are challenges that happen every so often and I want to just go on record to assist parents; if something happens that any school you need to try to resolve that issue at the school in terms of dialoging with your Principal, a report was made in terms of and it is all allegation until we are able to substantiate, so there was an alleged incident, the matter was brought to our attention, we then proceeded on doing our investigation but because of the sensitivity of the case and the parent being most levied and he had every reason to be based on what he shared with me, this incident happens in one of our government schools, I tried mediating and so on but there were certain decisions that could not be made because the general manager was out of the country and again you have to follow protocol you have to follow procedure.”

As previously mentioned, the Corozal Education Department is now waiting for directives from the Teaching Services Commission as to how to proceed.

Jahmore Lopez Corozal District Centre Manager

“We have a body called the Teaching Services Commission which is an independent body, that body is responsible for disciplining a teacher so there were certain things I believe that maybe it wasn’t clear in terms of the other party in terms of their understanding and well they decided that they will take it a different route, I am happy to report that I have since met with the fine gentleman and his wife and we’ve resolve the matter, the investigation in terms of the process is still ongoing, people have to understand that the wheel of justice it grinds slowly and I want to assure the parent that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that justice will prevail.”

According to Lopez, parents can rest assure that the Ministry of Education will not tolerate violence in the classroom.

Jahmore Lopez Corozal District Centre Manager

“We do not condone violence of any sort; we are not to hit children, we are not to hit our women, we do not want to perpetuate this thing about violence that is what is happening and that is why we got rid of corporal punishment because we cannot way that when there is a problem you try to resolve it with violence and so we say that we talk to our children we encourage our teachers to become trained so that they can use different methodologist, what are methodologist, pull the child aside and have a one and one with the child, it is possible that that child is having it issues at home, call in the parents for a conference, sign a contract, give the child some attention, and then you can make referrals, you can refer that child so that we can have personnel to go in and to do an assessment and as a ministry we have a zero tolerance and I say to teachers refrain from hitting anybody’s child we want to be able to teach our children to problem solve, to dialogue, to negotiate and to see how we can be able to converse, referring to violence is not going to resolve anything.”

Reports are that on the day of the incident the child was in class when his teacher pulled him from the arm. Responding to the incident the child told the teacher that he would tell his father and he would deal with her. Allegations are that the teacher then slapped the student.

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