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Ministry says it’s addressing abuse concerns

Education officials are denying a cover-up of allegations of abuse in the public school system.
The ministry’s leaders, including Minister Hon. Tara Rivers, faced the fire at a media round-table for failing to make public an allegation of child abuse at Sir John A Cumber Primary School last November.
The Ministry confirmed two teachers from that school are on required leave and under police investigation for incidents alleged to have happened in 2016.
One matter, where a teacher is accused of throwing a chair at a student, was reported to police and the ministry last week.
Ministry leaders were aware of the other incident from November, but only confirmed publicly yesterday.
Asked why it took so long to address the matter publicly Minister Rivers said it’s up to the police to reveal such information adding protecting all parties is key.
“What we can’t do is prejudice what investigation may or many not follow with whatever action is followed. I think that’s probably the approach that we always have to take,” Ms Rivers said.
While the two incidents come from his school principal Paul Samuel says that’s not the norm at the institution.
There are now three teachers out of 750 on leave for child abuse allegations as one is before the courts.

“Am I concerned about the behaviors that I see between staff and students at the school? The answer is no,” Mr Samuel said.
Ministry officials say they will review how they share information on incidents such as those involving allegations in the public schools.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 18 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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