Cops probing “criminal attack” on Winfer Gardens Primary teacher

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The Education Ministry on Sunday said that the attack on a teacher at the Winfer Gardens Primary School last Wednesday was “unacceptable” and constituted a criminal act.

In a statement, the Education Ministry stated that since the incident was criminal in nature, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has launched an investigation to bring clarity.

The Grade One teacher was attacked and beaten by a parent, whose child is a student in her class.

“The Ministry of Education condemns, in the strongest possible way, the unfortunate and unacceptable incident which occurred at the Winfer Gardens Primary School on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 between a teacher and parent. This matter has been promptly placed for attention and action by the Guyana Police Force since it is criminal in nature,” the statement read.

Until the probe is completed, several actions will be taken to ensure that the security of students and teachers are not compromised.

“Several internal approaches, including strengthening of security at schools, are being adopted by the Ministry in an effort to deal with this matter without prejudicing the ongoing investigations which have been launched by the Guyana Police Force,” the Ministry stated.

Meanwhile, teachers were cautioned to abide by all policies set out by the Ministry for public schools.

“The Ministry, in the same vein, wishes to remind parents to ensure that they always act responsibly as they are the first role models for their children. Teachers are also reminded to always act in accordance with policies and due procedures that have been established. The Ministry cannot and will not tolerate violence in our schools.”

On the said day of the incident, the teacher, Yolanda Jackson, was visited by the parent within the confines of the school, located on East Street, Georgetown. An eyewitness indicated that a verbal confrontation ensued between the teacher and the woman. Shortly after, the physical attack started in the presence of students.

Teachers and students who witnessed the incident detailed that Jackson was “dragged on the floor”, “kicked”, “punched” and “slammed” by the lone parent and the entire confrontation lasted several minutes.  While the teacher’s injuries were not critical, she was bleeding from the head with “cuts and bruises” about her body. She received stitches for the cut to her head.

While the motive behind the attack was not clearly determined, it is alleged that the assailant’s child was recently beaten severely at the hands of the teacher. Photos surfacing on social media showed the five-year-old’s swollen fingers and marks across the upper arm.  Nevertheless, educators at the institution clearly expressed that “violence is not the answer”.