The Mae’s school administration on Monday agreed to apologise to the student whose indigenous attire was deemed “inappropriate” when he turned up for Culture Day activities last month.
This is according to a release by the Amerindian People’s Association (APA) which stated that the decision was made following a meeting with the school, APA representatives, the affected child’s mother and a reporter.
“After some back and forth on the matter, and with the APA stressing on what culture really means to indigenous peoples in Guyana, the school’s director agreed that she would apologise to the young man on the turn the incident took and the trauma that he experienced shortly after. She did not, however, go so far as to say she would issue a public apology saying that she had to confer on this,” the entity said.
However, the organization said that they strongly felt the public apology necessary as an entire ethnic demographic has been hurt “as was demonstrated by the denunciation from across the country.”
Moreover, in the meeting, the APA further proposed that the incident be used as both a teaching and learning opportunity for the students and faculty body of the school.
“The Association suggested that it can help the school in sensitizing students and others on larger issues affecting indigenous peoples and their role in society. To that end, the school has agreed to host a session in collaboration with the Association to inform its body of indigenous culture and overcoming the negative stereotypes which continue to exist.”
According to the APA, the meeting on Monday represented the first occasion that the mother of the child was able to recount directly to the school’s top administration, how the incident took place and to express her concerns about its impact on him.
This matter first caught the public’s attention two weeks ago, when a parent vented her frustrations on social media explaining that her child was prevented from entering the school dressed in his indigenous outfit for Culture Day.