Fort Wellington Secondary School teachers protest attack on colleague; several persons arrested

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 March 2023, 12:24 by Denis Chabrol

Numerous teachers of Fort Wellington Secondary School, backed by the Guyana Teachers Union, on Tuesday protested the assault of one of their colleagues by several students and a guardian,  union President Mark Lyte said.

“We need justice”, “We need justice”, “I need justice”, Enough is enough” were among the chants by the incensed teachers. They also held placards that read, among other messages, “There is no discipline in schools anymore,” “Student violence against teachers has become a norm and that’s not okay”, “Teachers are not punching bags” and “No justice, no teaching”.

The teachers also openly called for the student to be expelled as a result of the assault of teacher Marlon Daniels. “This nonsense must stop in the school system. We need to be respected as teachers,” a teacher said from the picket line.

Police in Region Five (Mahaica-West Berbice) said a student was contacted and released into the care of his parents, and three adults were arrested. The teacher obtained a medical certificate and has since submitted that to police, according to the police officer.

The teachers demanded the intervention of the police and Region Five (Mahaica-West Berbice) Education Department in this latest incident that also sparked off a fresh call by the GTU for the Ministry of Education to address violence against teachers.

Efforts to contact the Region Five Education Officer were unsuccessful.

But Mr Lyte, speaking on Facebook outside the Fort Wellington Secondary School, said no one has been charged with wounding the teacher on duty and no one from the Department of Education went to the school although that administrative office is located about two minutes away. “When the HM called the Department to inform that teachers are going to be protesting because they felt as though they were left on their own; nobody cares, nobody intervened to see how traumatised  our teachers were but to be told that our teachers cannot protest,” he said.

Noting that so far for the year, more than 12 teachers have been assaulted while on duty but nothing has been done by the Ministry of Education.