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Town hall meeting planned over porn video at school claim

The impasse over a teacher at the Union Island Secondary School allegedly showing  a pornographic video to his students during class time has deepened.

The Parent-Teacher Association at the school, in a press release on Wednesday, said it was “dismayed by the lack of response and inaction by the Principal of the Union Island Secondary School, the Union Island Police and the Ministry of Education” to the allegation.

“Thus far, evidence of witness tampering by the perpetrator and his mother who were involved in the botched investigation conducted by the Probation Officer has been gathered,” Tricia Joseph, the PTA’s secretary said in a press release.

She said the matter will be at the top of the agenda at the next regular monthly PTA meeting next Monday, Jan. 14.

“Several attempts were made to communicate with the Principal and Ministry of Education officials to get an update on the matter but these proved futile up to press time.

“A public town hall meeting is being planned for this Friday to keep the issue in the forefront until an appropriate resolution is arrived at in the interest and safety of our children,” Joseph said.

The incident is said to have occurred during school hours on the school’s compound on Nov. 22.

iWitness News understands that the teacher in question has denied the allegation.

The Ministry of Education told iWitness News on Tuesday the school’s principal, Vernette Ollivierre, is conducting the investigation but it has no timeframe for its conclusion.

In the meantime, iWitness News has received communications between two teachers at the school and the principal regarding the incident.

“We were however disappointed that as the person in-charge of the investigation that you were unwilling to receive the evidence that we had to present in relation to [the accused teacher] interfering with the investigation,” one teacher wrote to the principal.

The teacher said that the mother of the accused teacher, who is said to also be a member of staff at the school, was sent to “retrieve the students to be interviewed by the social worker.

“We are dissatisfied about how the investigation was being conducted and the fact that [the accused teacher] continues to bully the students into lying.

“… we believe that because of the close relationship with the family that you should recuse yourself from the investigation. We also believe that it is within your power as principal of the school to not assign classes to [the accused teacher] thus minimising his contact with students until the Ministry makes a determination on the issue.

“We, the senior teachers, have lost faith in your ability to protect our students and your actions and decisions are not in the best interest of our students. We pray that these issues would be addressed in the interest of the school,” the teacher wrote.

In another communication to the principal, another teacher said they had no personal issue with the accused teacher.

“… I understand that he is young, human like all of us, and prone to make mistakes like ALL of us.  What I take issue with, is the continual lies that are encouraged to be going around, even to the point of encouraging the students to participate.  This leaves a distastefulness, and leads to major speculation. 

“Where is the value system of this school?  Is our school’s motto to help young people to become prolific liars, to disguise the truth, or to fabricate it, when it suits their interest in life? 

“What would have been wrong in him seeking forgiveness and, with staff, look for a way to do damage control?  We all know the truth of the matter. So, the David-Uriah route would not garner the support needed to help the young man go forward with some level of dignity, at this time”. 

The teacher said that in other institutions, suspension of such accused persons until the matter is resolved is often recommended.

The teacher expressed fears that they could be implicated if legal action should result from the allegation.

“Plus, how am I to be assured that if this matter is to go to the highest level (something I pray doesn’t happen) and he is found guilty of the accusations, I won’t be charged for inciting sexual abuse?  We continually take things for granted.”

iWitness News understands that in a meeting with the principal on Monday, four teachers threatened to walk off the job if the matter is not resolved. 

In an email to four teachers at the school, the principal said she had communicated to the Ministry of Education the teachers’ intention to walk off the job because of the continued presence of the accused teacher at the school. 

“At this point, the relevant authorities are at a ceremony and cannot be reached.  I have also discussed the matter with the Management Team,” the principal wrote.

“I cannot order [the accused teacher] off the compound as that authority is vested in the Ministry of Education

who has to make the relevant decisions with regard to this case.

“I however, respect whatever decision, with regard to walking out, you feel incumbent upon yourselves, individually, to make,” the principal wrote.

Comments (6)

  1. As others have said, this should be a police matter, pure and simple.

    Since the police and Director of Public Prosecution are aware of this matter via the media and have done nothing, speaks volumes to the backwardness of our country.

  2. What is wrong with Ponography? Two people having sex everyone does it so what’s the problem.

    Sex is an essential part of life similar to food and water. It is a natural process that no one can deny they go through so what is the big deal.

    Stop and look at this seriously people, all this hype over what everyone is doing or has done or will be doing.

    • To this poster “What is wrong with pornography” I thought at first that you were being sarcastic, but you are serious. I don’t know what to say about you….that you think that a grown man should show such a video to children! Let the parents and the Sex/Health Education teacher teach the children about sex. Is this teacher qualified to teach this subject? I think not. The fact that the children knew it was wrong; the teacher should have known it is wrong too. The laws in the islands have to be different if the Ministry has to now direct the teacher to go on Administrative Leave with pay until the matter is resolved. In Maryland USA, the teacher could not be in the schoolhouse. He would have been on Admin leave with pay until the matter is resolved.

    • It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.

    • I assume you have no children and if you do, what an ignorant statement to make. A school is a place where wholesome learning is expected to take place. A teacher exposing 13 and 14 year olds to lewd sexual acts is not the least bit disturbing to you? “Sex is an essential part of life similar to food and water. It is a natural process that no one can deny they go through so what is the big deal.” What is the big deal? The big deal is, and I am sure I speak for many sensible parents here when I say this is not how I would want my child introduced to sex education. There are proper channels for that through the Health and Family Life Education Curriculum.

    • Of course Sex is a natural thing. Pornography serves one purpose, to make you horny. This teacher should never have done this to these children. This is very inappropriate and shows gross negligence and lack of better judgment. He/She will probably never teach again in SVG.

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