For the second-straight day, students did not attend class at East End Primary School, parents deciding to hold their children out in protest stemming from a teacher being put on leave and the subsequent fallout. The education ministry says it’s taking steps to rectify the issue.
Cayman 27’s Philipp Richter went back east to find out more, he has this report.
The Ministry of Education has provided East End Primary School with a new temporary teacher for the 5th grade class and was supposed to start today, but for the second day in a row parents have taken their children out of the school. The parents are upset over the removal of a teacher who is being investigated by police for possible misconduct, but not everyone agrees with their methods.
“And I know sometimes it takes action to get attention and I’m not telling them they’re wrong to try and get attention but it was wrong to try and put the children in the frontline,” said Parent, Janice Welcome.
Parent, Janice Welcome now has to take her child with her to work, when he should be in school.
“Our children should not be deprived of education just to get Government’s attention,” said Mrs. Welcome.
School leaders originally found a replacement teacher internally, but parents were not happy with that decision 3 weeks later and are still not happy with Thursday’s announcement of a new substitute teacher, Director of Education Services, Lyneth Monteith accepts the parents decision to take their children out of school.
“That really isn’t going to promote the students’ progress, but we do understand the parents concern that would lead them to that decision,” said Ms. Lyneth Monteith, Director for Education Services.
For Mrs. Welcome, she says some parents have suggested home schooling their children, but for her, she’ll stick to Government school.
“And I enjoy that, I embrace that, so I feel like we should have the privilege to have our children educated under the Government,” said Mrs. Welcome.
As parents voiced their opinions to representatives from the Department of Education Services, Ms. Monteith says she hopes parents stay this involved in their children’s education.
“And would hope that this involvement will continue outside this unfortunate situation and that we can continue to working the best interests of those students, cause it’s those students who are at the heart of this and the important people here,” said Ms. Monteith.
The chain locking the school’s entrance Thursday has been removed, but the parking lot remains empty, the PTA has left a sign on the gate that states children may be returning to school on Tuesday.
Here’s a timeline of how we got to this point, on October 17th a 5th grade teacher was removed from the school over alleged misconduct involving a student.
That investigation continues between several departments, including the police. The Ministry of Education says this is how they process complaints regarding child protection, once the allegations are made a referral is sent to the Department of Children and Family Services.
The allegation is reviewed by the multi-agency safeguarding hub and a decision is made whether to proceed with an investigation between the DCFS and the police, or it is passed to Department of Education Services for internal action.
If the decision is an investigation, the case proceeds until it is concluded, when the referral is made to D.C.F.S, the Department of Education Services removes the teacher from the school immediately, the teacher is relocated to D.E.S, if that is appropriate, the teacher then provides indirect education support.