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Teachers at West St. George Secondary School during their sit-in on Friday.
Teachers at West St. George Secondary School during their sit-in on Friday.
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Teachers at West St. George Secondary School (WSGSS) are expected to write to the Ministry of Education today (Monday) over concerns that the government’s vaccine mandate could see educators lose their jobs and accrued benefits.

iWitness News was reliably informed that if the Ministry of Education refuses to meet with the educators, they will continue the “sit-in” that they started on Friday, 

On Friday, vaccinated and unvaccinated teachers at the school staged a “sit-in” in protest against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which could see some of  them lose their jobs if they do not take the jab.

The teachers attended their classes only to mark the attendance register and all but three of them spent the remainder of the work day sitting in the classroom.  

“We take this opportunity to remind the school’s administration of our value as a staff and allow the Ministry of Education to have a glimpse of what the school system will look like in the absence of a driven and dedicated workforce,” said a Nov. 25 letter to the chief personnel officer, signed by 29 teachers at the school.

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iWitness News was reliably informed that about 11 of the 31 teachers at the school are unvaccinated.

If these teachers do not get jabbed by this Friday, they could lose their jobs and their accrued benefit, in light of a law passed by Cabinet, mandating COVID-19 vaccines for a wide cross-section of government workers.

In the letter, the teachers said it was important to point out that the majority of the unvaccinated staff teach Form 5 students. 

“Our fifth-formers are at a critical point in their preparation for CSEC exams of 2022. Any further upheaval; loss of instructional time, and absence of teachers will certainly be to their detriment,” the teachers said.

The letter said that the teachers gave of their time unselfishly during the volcanic eruption in April and throughout the return to school for Form 5 students in the ensuing period.

“We aim to raise your awareness of the difficulties that will ensue as a result of the loss of these experienced staff members at this very critical point in the school’s existence. Our focus has always been the students as we prepare them to move St. Vincent and the Grenadines forward. As teachers, we recognise and appreciate the significance of your contribution. We stand not merely as conduits for academic achievement but also as nation builders, moulding the men and women of tomorrow.

“Hence, we are categorically against the dismissal of teachers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the loss of their benefits due to their vaccination status,” the letter said. 

Students at West St. George Secondary School leave their campus during the lunch break on Friday. (iWN photo)

On Friday, the vast majority of the teachers wore black in protest against the mandate.

When iWitness News visited the school around 11:30 a.m. Friday, it was uncharacteristically quiet. 

A man wearing all black who was entering the school gate told iWitness News that he is a teacher and that his dress code was to show solidarity with teachers who had opted not to take the jab.

A student who exited the school compound at 11:58 a.m. said that he was in Form 5 and none of his teachers had attended their classes up to that point.

The student said that he was not returning to school after the lunch break.

One Form 1 student told iWitness News that he has five subjects on Friday, two of which are before lunch.
Only his Spanish teacher had turned up for class, the student told iWitness News. 

In their letter, the teacher said their opposition was not to the COVID-19 vaccine but the law mandating vaccination for teachers.

“Many of us have been on staff here for 10 years and more and have enjoyed a level of cohesion that has made the West St. George Secondary School, the success that it has been, since its inception.”

The teachers said that they love their students and understand that their wellbeing has always been their priority.

“This is evidenced by the school’s success at the CSEC level of the CXC Examinations over the last 10 years, and the genuine bond that has been created between these students and the teachers, which has been maintained for many years after they have left the school.”

The teachers said that the vaccine law “threatens to undermine that cohesion and puts at risk the anticipated advancement of the student that we had envisioned, at the start of the face-to-face return to school”.

The teachers said “a level of psychological, academic and emotional degradation in our students” has resulted from the fact that students have been away from the classroom for almost three terms. 

“It will require the collective experience of all of our teachers to bring back a level of normalcy to the school.

“As teachers, while we recognise the difficulties of the current pandemic, we hold firm that this (SR&O) will not be beneficial to any party, as we desperately try to avoid any further disruption to the already fragile environment of our disadvantaged student body.”

The teachers said that while, as a staff, they may not be similarly affected by the vaccine mandate, “we have shared our successes and set-backs, and will stand together, as we always have, as one body, one unit, one staff.”

11 replies on “Teachers threaten to continue ‘sit-in’ protest against vaccine mandate”

  1. Alencia Franklyn says:

    I stand with the teachers all over SVG and most of all I Stand with my WSGSS family our teachers have been making our boys and girls who they are today ,our policemen nurses bankers teachers and much more. I want to applaud you .all my children are well grounded young man and woman today because of knowledge imparted to them by these said teacher . Teacher go way beyond and above their duties being mothers nurses doctors and the list goes on let us appriciate the hard work they put in not taking away their jobs and benefits bcus of a jab I am not anti Vax but I stand with them against the mandatory law when it comes to this vaccine it should be one’s choice n free will. Stand your grounds teacher I stand with you.

  2. Go teachers! Don’t teach our/your children. Many years ago some teachers sent students from the classroom to their homes to bring back the teacher’s lunches. Some of these students became bitter adults towards their former teachers and their families. Teachers you too will one day cease to be a teacher and become older. Our/your children will remember how you prevented them from making their good better and their better best. These are challenging times, each of us have a choice to vaccinate or not. Our choices should not include putting children at risk; stay safe.

  3. You teachers are so dumb in saint Vincent that you all don’t know your ass from your elbow. You have people children to take care of and educate. The children has to take the vaccine so why not you. What a bunch of dotish Vincentians. You all should lose your jobs and what ever income you have will run out. Good luck to you dotish people.

  4. Even if I was not a teacher being threatened by this mandate, I sincerely applaud and congratulate the members of the West St. George Secondary School’s stance on the issue. A rowdy round of applause and standing ovation to them. #hatsOff

  5. That picture of the teachers decked in black ‘speaks a thousand words ‘of some inconsistencies. It is a strong sense of acknowledging the unproductive thoughts and ineffective conclusion; of what the average person hope to rise beyond through pandemics. But in truth displays uncomfortable credence like pedestrians being in the middle of the street’, stepping out of your comfort zone and choosing to proactively address what are the contrary to your first choice of taking the vaccine, that which has only skyrocket any possibility of long-lasting trust by their own students and ultimately a wider community.

  6. Those that are united can never be defeated my brothers and sisters , the more we comply is the more power we cede to the tyrants. We can now handle the consequences of defying the experimental jab, but complying and then being oppressed again will be too much. The scariest about this is the unknown short and long term adverse effects. There’s something very evil about this whole thing, it’s creepy.


    Compare our Prime Minister to this US Governor:…THEY ARE DIRECT OPPOSITES!!!!

    NO MASKS. NO VACCINE MANDATES. NO lockdowns (like the NDP wants)!

    THIS TELLS YOU HOW POOR OUR LEADERSHIP IN SVG IS because we do not follow the science. Instead we follow FEAR and MSNBC!!
    If SVG did not have FEAR-DRIVEN vaccine coercion we would have had enough herd immunity to also have low numbers.


  8. Too many BRAINWASHED cannot see a trend here. We can bet the government does, but they have much different agenda, (obviously your health or rights have NOTHING to do with it). Is the government agenda to go along with the Global Reset to take the rights, health and prosperity away from the people Do they believe they will “own everything and be extra happy”? Or is the government being used as “useful idiots” to later be made just like the oppressed rest of us? Maybe you will from now on have to do what the government tells you before you are allowed “rights’ which means they are not rights anymore but privileges!
    Can the EDUCATED teachers save us? Can the EDUCATED Healthcare people save us? I wonder!
    Watch the video to see what these vaccine mandates are doing to us. See the trend that is usually deleted from Youtube and the internet.:

  9. What these teachers did not say is that they not only stand up for our children and our nation but they stand against laws of tyranny and oppression. If they actually admitted that it would not help their cause, regardless of how accurate.

  10. This is so disgusted. People the virus kills. I know we are a third world country but do you own research and listen the news. Let’s get this virus behind us and move on with our lives.

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