Here’s an interesting article from Trinidad Guardian:
Some teachers are having sex with their pupils in the nation’s schools and they are allegedly getting away with it. Senior educators believe the red tape within the Teaching Service Commission Tribunal allows these miscreants to commit their crimes without fear. Because the officers in the commission are part-time workers, investigations against teachers take between five to ten years to complete, sources said. Those who are suspended, continue to receive full salary. Senior reporter RADHICA SOOKRAJ examines incidents of physical, sexual and mental abuse which some children face in the nation’s schools.
Teacher’s affair with Form Four student
Doodnath (not his real name) was just 28 years when he got a job as a teacher at a secondary school in the Naparima constituency. He was well liked and because of his youth, he seemed to have a bond with his students. But his charm was short-lived when he began courting a poor, but strikingly beautiful Form Four student from his class. The 15-year-old girl withdrew from her friends. She got closer to Doodnath and claimed she had to spend time with him because he gave her extra lessons. On Saturdays, Doodnath would be seen dropping off the girl to and from a library in San Fernando. They shared lunch together and on one occasion, during a field trip, Doodnath openly held her hands in front of her classmates.
The girl never admitted to having an affair with her teacher. She spoke highly of him, saying he gave her extra lessons. Other teachers turned a blind eye to the affair which continued long after the girl graduated. A school supervisor, who requested anonymity, said sexual, physical and mental abuse was rampant and was a reflection of the unravelling of society’s moral fabric. She said primary school pupils were mortally afraid of being flogged in the classrooms, despite the passage of legislation to stop corporal punishment. She cited a recent example of a pupil of Woodland Hindu School who was injured when a senior school official allegedly deliberately squeezed his hand on a door. Nothing has come out of that matter. Within recent times, there were five cases in south Trinidad where teachers were accused of abusing children.
“We also have reports of teachers using racist slurs when speaking to pupils…This type of verbal abuse is hard to prove,” the official said. She also noted that reports were becoming more alarming as recently, a female teacher from east Trinidad, who was separated from her husband, was said to be having sexual trysts with teenage boys from her school’s football team. “This senior school official would allow the boys to sleep at her home…They would speak about how they were having sex with Miss.” In January this year, another scandal rocked a primary school in east Trinidad when a male teacher was accused of putting a 13-year-old girl to sit on his desk before fondling her. Minister of Education Dr Tim Gopeesingh said more than 50 teachers were before the Ministry’s Disciplinary Committee for various matters, among them physical and sexual abuse of students. He said issues of high teacher absenteeism and poor class attendance were being dealt with by his ministry.
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