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Girl guilty

Redman releases BSTU charge sheet on Ellerslie incident

For more than a week now, the President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU) has been holding back from telling the public all that she knows of the April 13 incident involving a third form teacher and one of her students at the Ellerslie Secondary School, even in the face of what Mary-Ann Redman said were lashes received from members of the public and Government officials.

However, Redman’s gloves finally came off today, as she delivered her tell-all on the controversial incident before a packed gathering of teachers at Solidarity House this afternoon.

Before a large gathering of secondary school teachers, Redman sought to tear to shreds a recent front page story carried in the Nation newspaper, which quoted the girl’s mother and “the self-appointed child advocate” Shelly Ross as saying that it was the teacher and not the student who was the aggressor in the violent attack.

However, giving a point-by-point rebuttal of the Nation story’s, the BSTU head stopped just short of saying it was a complete fabrication.

Nevertheless, she went on to release the BSTU’s own charge sheet on the incident in an effort to substantiate her union’s contention that the student should be expelled. It reads:

1. The teacher did not strike, or provoke, the student” and students who were in the class at the time of the incident would be able to substantiate this.

2. The teacher was told by the student, who was openly rude and disrespectful, ‘you blind, you can’t see that I trying to get a chair’.

3. The teacher did not curse the student, but the girl on the other hand “lathered” the teacher and her mother with curse in front of the classroom.

5. Neither, the teacher nor the student ended up on the floor. However, when the student struck the teacher, she lost balance and a student behind her grabbed her and held her hands and continued to do so throughout the episode.

6. Contrary to what Ms Ross, the self-appointed, children’s advocate has stated, the teacher was “spat at, cuffed in her face, kicked in her genitals and suffered some injury to her chest as the student tried hard to rip her dress off her”.

7. The year head did not have to pull apart the teacher and pupil. During the episode the teacher’s hands were pinned behind her back by another student in the class.

And with a document currently circulating that is purported to be a copy of official notes on the incident filed at the Black Rock police station, Redman said she had never known the police to reveal sensitive information to the public during an active investigation of a matter.

Furthermore, as was charged in the newspaper article, the BSTU president said she has never known police to express an opinion on who an aggressor may not be before active investigations on any matter are completed.

“I am disturbed at this, and it raises serious considerations in my mind on a variety of issues as they affect their mission to protect, serve and reassure,” she said.

The outspoken teachers’ president also indicated that there was a serious need for the school to act with alacrity and seriousness on the matter, as whatever the results were, it had the potential to set a serious precedent in this regard.

“What the ministry decides to do with the student in relation to the alternative schooling is their concern. Perhaps this situation will finally force them to make accommodation for students who do not fit into the normal school system,” she said.

Following last Wednesday’s incident the teacher has proceeded on one month’s sick leave, while the student has been suspended indefinitely.

Redman, who said she saw the teacher yesterday, reported that her face was still visibly swollen with blackness under her eye. She said she remained on medication, and had a follow-up visit today with her doctor.

Additionally, Redman said while the teacher was still traumatized and shocked over the incident, there were no prior reports from the student or her mother, written or verbal, that had been made to either the year head or the Ellerslie Principal Major Errol Brathwaite in relation to the teacher.

The BSTU spokeswoman said the year head had also reported to her that he has had to speak to the mother on a number of occasions about the child’s behaviour.

“The mother has herself stated to the public that she has to visit the school on a few occasions because of her daughter’s behaviour, but she is not a problem child.

However, “I don’t expect that she referring to collecting prizes at Speech Day,” Redman told the gathering at Solidarity House, while adding that “the mother admits that the daughter has attended, is attending, the Juvenile Liaison Scheme for having gotten into a fight on the bus.

“The Juvenile Liaison Scheme is like a step before the Girl’s Industrial School. Children guilty of continued and serious infractions are sent there,” the spokeswoman for teachers said.

She also said based on reports from the third form teacher, the girl was frequently late for school and frequently absent for both morning and afternoon registration, as was the case on April 13.

Redman also reported that the teacher was just back from long leave and that the attack occurred on her second day back at school this term. However, prior that “the teacher [had] interacted with the student in the first term of the school year during which she never had any altercation with the student.

The BSTU head also indicated that the teacher has a 16 year history in the service and was voted “Teacher Of The Year” in her group in 2013. She also said she had never been involved with any such or similar disciplinary matter with any other student during that tenure.

On the other hand, she suggested that the student has had a coloured history, as she questioned: “What would proper objective investigations by Ms Ross, as to the number of other students that have been bullied or attacked by this student, reveal?”

In explaining the union’s reluctance, up until now, to speak publicly on the incident, she said not only does it remain under police investigation, but also it could become a legal matter.

She also said the union had been seeking to ensure that there was no smearing of the character of the child involved.

However, Redman said based on all that has been told to them of the violent incident, the third former is guilty of two of the three infractions, covered by the Education Act.

Therefore, the union, in demanding the student’s expulsion, was merely following the Ministry of Education’s own code of disciplines for such violations.

17 Responses to Girl guilty

  1. lisa April 23, 2016 at 7:15 am

    I want all the other child advocates to talk now.

  2. Observer April 23, 2016 at 7:23 am

    What the hell is going on with wannabes thugs in barbados schools these days, everytime you look around it’s a teacher and student ,you parents that incouraging that behavior and disrespect towards the teachers you’ll need to home school your bad ass kid’s instead of letting them interrupt other kids that comes to school to learn and not interrupt the class

    • miche April 23, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      A thing called Redman,is whats goimg on

  3. Observer April 23, 2016 at 7:26 am

    What the hell is going on with these wannabes thugs in barbados schools these days, everytime you look around it’s a teacher and student ,you parents that incouraging that behavior and disrespect towards the teachers you’ll need to home school your bad ass kid’s instead of letting them interrupt other kids that comes to school to learn and not interrupt the class

  4. Carson C Cadogan April 23, 2016 at 7:47 am

    The Trade Unions are on a mission to destabalise Barbados. They are playing ‘TAG TEAM” with the country. As soon as one Trade Union has cause a lot of trouble, then it tags the other Trade Union to do the same. Barbados now appears to be the only country in the World where Trade Unions are allowed to disrupt daily life with impunity. All other countries in the World have pass legislation to reign in Trade Unions for the good of the countries. We have reached that stage now and citizens are expecting positive action from the Govt. to curtail the Activities of Barbados’ Trade Unions.

    • Lisa April 23, 2016 at 8:15 am

      Still in denial huh? Guess you didn’t read it right.

  5. Carson C Cadogan April 23, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Why is it that one never hears of disruption in Private schools by Mary Redman and her Trade Union?

    • Wayne April 23, 2016 at 9:46 am

      A union responsibility is to it’s members, sometimes u does put your foot in your mouth, if the teachers at the private schools are not members of the union, why should mary has something to say, and what good will it do?

      • Carson C Cadogan April 23, 2016 at 10:09 am

        How is it that the Private schools seem not to have any problems with their students or teachers? After all the student rolls at private schools are drawn from the same youth citizens of Barbados.

        What is this saying to us?

  6. Sue Donym April 23, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Although reluctant to speak publicly as the matter remains under police investigation Ms Redman was able to conclude that the teacher had not struck or provoked the child despite student statements. Ms Redman’s claim to want to ensure the student’s character is not smeared, falls apart here. And all that follows is meant to do what – nominate her for the Peace Prize?

    How do we ‘respect’ authority when the authority figures often don’t show enough discipline to interact other than through insults and brutality? A significant portion of Barbados’ population still believes that the scars they got from whips and ‘2 by 3s’ were the reasons for their best achievements.

    As for the chorus of blind believers in teacher purity, stay tuned because the next sound you hear will be from the flood gates opening as a lot more is revealed from parents and students who have been severely victimised – first for questioning any authority, then for reporting dissatisfaction and next by being ostracised for not completely yielding to the school tyrants.

    I don’t think anyone is trying to say that there are no problems in families or society but the answer is not to accept everything that teachers decide and try to excuse obviously poor reaction as their desire to make a better society. They must be held to a high and consistent standard and must be called upon to act appropriately.

    Parents also are required to conduct school business with decorum and tact, as an amicable solution is often possible and usually best for their child. Power struggles are better left to wrestlers and politicians.

  7. Sherlock Holmes. April 23, 2016 at 9:56 am

    So because you have laid out a seven point indictment we are suppose to support the nonsense that you and you unions are proposing to embark on come next week? we do not condone bad behavior or violence and if this child is so wrong then let the aggrieved teacher start the process for prosecution it is accorded under the laws of this country. What you have done here is tried this case in public with your alleged indictments, i do not know who advise you but you need to retire and stop causing so much problems in the educational system are you aware that given the nature if what you have just outlined here you have seriously eroded the possibility of a fair trial for those involved,Who are we to believe? And are you telling me that the media is so erroneous? I know that it can be said that at times they are,but i believe that some of these reporters are no fools,some thing went wrong and terribly wrong in this matter and i wonder why this teacher does not want to prosecute,why? If she has suffered all of these alleged injuries why is prosecution not on the table is she afraid of going to court? I am not convinced of seven point plan, your motives are steeped in the disruption of this country’s educational system at a time when students are preparing for critical examinations,i believe in law and order not lawlessness and if this situation is so dire then let the parties go to court and see if a reasonable outcome can be obtained.

  8. Sherlock Holmes. April 23, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Correction should read i am not convinced of your seven point plan.

  9. Carson C Cadogan April 23, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I will bet all the tea in China that next week’s strike by The Teachers Union will not include Teachers in Private schools.

    The Trade Unions in Barbados are deathly afraid of the Private sector. They see the Govt. as a soft target. Hence their disruptive behavior towards the Govt. in general.

    Why is it that only the Govt. school Teachers want a meeting with Govt.? Why is it that only Govt. school Teachers are saying that the Minister is insulting them? Why is it that only Govt. school Teachers are saying that they are threatened? Why is it that only Govt. school Teachers are walking off the job claiming that they have Trade Union meetings to attend?

    • harry turnover April 23, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      Yes Einstein……someone should alert you to the facts about PRIVATE and GOVERNMENT Schools…ya garbling man…go and drink some tea and lay down and sleep.

      • Don Morris April 24, 2016 at 9:38 pm

        tea and lie down and sleep harry? IS that the remedy for drunkeness? lol.

  10. harry turnover April 23, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    So Redman BECAUSE that is your side of the story the public should take it as the GOSPEL ????
    We now await the Childs’ side of the story and then the TRUTH.

  11. Peter Mayers April 24, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Having to read some of these comments sickens me, I am not taking the side of the student or of the teacher, let the truth come to light.
    For someone to say that at private schools these things do not happen is a clear attempt to mislead the public. Children will be children, at private school or public school. Teachers will have their challenges at private school or public school.
    I personally know of students at my sons’ private school whose parents were asked to withdraw them immediately and this was at the PRIMARY level, girls and boys.
    These incidents may not get press coverage, but they do exist, and furthermore, private school is foremost a business and in some businesses, all publicity is not necessarily good publicity.
    I await the whole story, but can someone explain the part where the teacher’s hands are being held by a student for a portion of this incident?


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