Mae’s issues public apology, ‘deeply regrets incident’

File photo: Picketers had gathered in front of the school to protest the move, while calling for an apology to be issued

The administration of Mae’s Schools has issued a public apology as it pertains to the incident where a student’s indigenous attire was deemed “inappropriate” when he turned up for Culture Day activities last month.

A decision was made on Monday that the private learning institution would issue an apology to the afflicted child following a meeting with members of the Amerindian People’s Association (APA) and the child’s mother, among others.

“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 APA said.

However, in a public missive on Wednesday, Mae’s, among other things, said that “We deeply regret the incident, and offer our most sincere and profound apologies to the student and his family for the hurt and pain which he suffered as a result.”

The 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.

See Mae’s full statement below:

Diversity in education and the creation of educational opportunities for students from diverse cultural backgrounds constitutes the bedrock of Mae’s Schools.

As an educational institution we are defined by the belief that a multiplicity of ideas and beliefs, cultures and cultural values enrich the learning experience of our students.

We hold deeply the view that respect for and celebration of the several cultures which make up our country creates a diverse, dynamic environment for our students.

On the day of May 25, 2018 there was a most unfortunate and deeply regrettable incident at our school.

We recognize that this event created trauma for the student, his family and the community.

We deeply regret the incident, and offer our most sincere and profound apologies to the student and his family for the hurt and pain which he suffered as a result.

We recognize also that various aspects of the event have been mischaracterized and misrepresented in the media.

It was not our intention to hurt, disrespect or degrade such an important part of the beautiful cultural mosaic which constitutes Guyana.

Our primary focus and concern was, and remains, that the unintentional hurt and pain caused by this event be addressed in a manner which not only repairs any damage caused, but reconfirms our commitment to cultural diversity and its importance in the dynamic educational environment at Mae’s.

We have engaged and will continue to engage those institutions in our society which are dedicated to protecting and promoting indigenous culture as an integral part of our educational experience.

We will continue to strive to provide increased educational opportunities to students from all cultures in an environment of creative dynamic learning, underpinned by discipline and rules.


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