Linden school bullying: Education officials intervene to resolve issue

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Following reports that a 13-year-old student of a secondary school in Linden, Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice) was being bullied by classmates and a teacher, education officials intervened and the matter has been resolved.

This is according to the Public Relations Officer attached to the Ministry of Education Murtland Halley who told this publication that, “the child is comfortable in school being taught.”

It was reported that the child was bullied by classmates and that the class teacher condoned those actions.

The child’s grandmother, Anita Elliot, had related that the child came home from school on May 31 crying, claiming that his classmates bullied him.

“He does stammer a lot sometimes you understand what he does talk and he is fat, so he said the children interfering with him in the class, say they gone put he up on Facebook…and whole heap of thing they tormenting he and he said the teacher did nothing,” the child’s grandmother stated.

Elliot, a retired social studies teacher, said after this incident occurred, the boy’s mother visited the school with the intention of meeting with the teacher, however, she was absent. This led to the mother messaging the said teacher.

“The class teacher’s word was that he must be tough, he got to be strong and stand up like a man and stop crying for everything…she doesn’t see any issue there and she don’t see the class did him anything,” Elliot related.

The following day, the grandmother claimed that the teacher “went to the class and tell the class how [the child] complain on them and…the whole class start make mockery of him”.

The woman said as a result of this, her grandson responded “aggressively”.

“It is alleged that he pointed his hand in her face in a rage and she walked out the class and run to the Head Teacher’s office and said that she frightened for she life,” the grandmother contended.

The child’s mother was then summoned which led to a further confrontation between her and the teachers. The family then decided to get welfare officers involved.

Elliot said the child, after seeing the Regional Education Officer, later returned to the school the same day only to find that his name was removed from the “Class Group” by his teacher.

“The list or group is called the “class group” which involves both parents and students from the class. This is where everything that goes on in the class is posted into which includes his assignments, projects, group work, and homework, so it is a very important group, especially that end of year exam is approaching, he needs to be up to date with his school work and course work,” Elliot explained.

To date, she said the teen is yet to be added back to this list.

On Monday, officials from the Department of Education in Region Ten visited the school where the matter was discussed and resolved. The child and his parent were involved in the discussions.

“I was up there in Linden and I just spoke to REDO [Regional Education Officer]. The child is in school doing work as per normal,” the Education PRO said.

The grandmother has confirmed that the matter is resolved and the child is back in the classroom as per normal. However, she expressed concerns that he is yet to be readded to the class group.

“My concern is that the teacher must put him back in the class group so he can get his assignment. He already apologised to the class teacher, still she is not adding him back to the group,” Elliot told this publication today.

When presented with this bit of information, Halley said officials will look into the situation, but assured, that there should be no need to worry.

“There is no need to worry since all assignment and class related work is discussed in the classroom. This is what was explained to me by the Regional Education Officer. There is nothing being done to make the child fail,” he assured.