Jamaican student charged for assaulting teacher in classroom | #teacher | #children | #kids

A 16-year-old student at the Tivoli Gardens High School in Kingston, Jamaica has been charged with assaulting a 56-year-old teacher on Monday.

The student was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm. A video of the altercation has been posted on social media.

A screengrab from a video circulating on social media showing teacher and student in altercation

Police said the teacher was conducting her class when the accused student entered and began behaving boisterously. The police said the teacher asked him to leave but he refused, leading to a physical confrontation causing bruises and swelling to the teacher’s face, upper body, and breast.

Commanding officer for the Kingston Western division, Senior Superintendent Michael Phipps, said the police have several concerns at Tivoli Gardens High and are trying to schedule a meeting with the principal and others, but it has not yet materialised.

“We are having issues at various schools and have met with most principals and are working together to iron out the issues,” SSP Phipps told the Jamaica Observer newspaper on line edition.

In the video, the student is seen pushing the teacher in front of the chalkboard. The teacher goes and takes up a desk which is taken from her and thrown aside by the student. Amidst laughing and cheering from other students in the classroom, the teacher and the student drape each other. This was when several other male students intervened and attempted to part the altercation.

Meanwhile, Education and Youth Minister, Fayval Williams, has condemned acts of violence at schools and is appealing to the education sector to double the efforts to curb anti-social and maladaptive behaviour by some students, parents and other stakeholders.

Williams said the ministry is very concerned with videos being circulated on social media from time to time depicting students being very aggressive with each other to the point of starting fights, cursing, smoking and speaking about the genitalia of others, among other highly undesirable behaviour.

“Most recently, a video surfaced showing the President of a Parent Teachers Association (PTA) of one of our schools in a violent confrontation with a student. This is unacceptable and should not be condoned,” she said in a statement.

“The ministry condemns all instances of violence and coarse behaviour among our children. There is no place in our society for what we have been witnessing in these videos. We should not tolerate adults speaking to students or their children in a vile manner or physically abusing them.  Equally, we should condemn students who are disrespectful to teachers, their parents or guardians, fellow students and other persons.”

The Education and Youth Minister said the videos highlight the need for a radical shift in creating respectful relationships between teachers-and-students, parents-and-children, students-and-students and “with others with whom we interact during the course of any day.

“Our teachers are being given additional training and the tools to de-escalate situations they may confront in the classrooms. Our students have to be taught respect for their teachers, other adults and their peers.  The introduction of restorative justice sessions into the education system is a new tool to help our students, teachers and school administrators deal with resolution of conflict situations,” she added.

She is also urging negligent parents to remember their responsibilities for their children and for schools to utilise the ministry’s training for guidance counsellors, deans of discipline and for all teachers to become familiar with restorative justice and other tools that will help them to anticipate negative emotions and not be baited into arguments or unprofessional conduct.

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