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Teachers’ children victimised

Some Alexandra School teachers who went on strike in January are paying a heavier price than a number of their other colleagues.

Barbados Secondary Teachers Union President Mary Redman said at least three members of the teaching staff who were involved in the industrial action had children attending the school, and that their households had been significantly affected by the issue. She alleged some teachers had victimised some of these children.

She was speaking today at the Wildey Gymnasium, Garfield Sobers Sports Complex when the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra continued there.

“I don’t know if the commission is aware that there are at least three teachers at the Alexandra School who have children attending the school as well and to that extent their children would have been affected by the strike action and so on,” she said.

“And those children have had to deal with other children in the school… Some of those children have been victimised by certain teachers because their parents have taken strike action and so there is a personal effect that has spilled over into their personal lives as well.”

Redman said the BSTU had avoided airing details on its grievances involving the school and Principal Jeff Broomes, but that the commission had facilitated a greater public understanding of the issues facing the union’s members at Alexandra.

“As a union we cannot negotiate in public and therefore all during our strike action we were at a distinct disadvantage in relation to the press because there was ever only so much that we could say … because we understood that we were dealing with a school, we were dealing with students,” she said.

“On a very personal level I have been through that at the Lodge School and I know what was involved in rebuilding that school … and therefore we [BSTU] tried to measure what was even said to the Press and it put us at a distinct disadvantage.” (SC)

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