Corporal punishment is being applied to my son in Grade Three

Dear Editor,

I am requesting some space in your paper as I wish to make a special appeal to President Donald Ramotar, the Minister of Education and all those who have authority over the school system, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, sociologists and social workers and parents.

Could someone please advise all parents and teachers what is the Ministry’s policy of beating [corporal punishment] in the schools?

I have a son in Grade 3 at the St Margaret’s Primary School and the teachers are in the habit of beating the entire class daily. My wife objected to the actions of the teachers and my son is now suffering the worst form of discrimination that a child could be exposed to. He is being ignored and put down in every way possible.

I am aware that my child is not the only one that is suffering at that school. Several parents are watching their children suffer and are too afraid to talk or take any action as the teachers have their contacts within the Ministry and they seem to be protecting them. The result is the children suffer all the more when a parent complains. Others have resorted to ensuring that the teachers’ emoluments are enhanced.

I am not prepared to do either. I am requesting that the powers that be ensure that the teachers do what they are being paid to do. Just like every person receiving a salary from the national purse.

It is no wonder that there is an increase in crime and violence in our beloved country. Our children are being nurtured to hate and to resolve conflict by violence. The children who have a nurturing home environment may not suffer as much as the negatives they encounter at school will be balanced out in the home but what about the ones that are from unstable or weak home structures?

When will our educators, sociologists and social workers start exercising some preventative action where crime and violence are concerned? Are they more interested in healing the sick than preventing the disease?

Has anyone asked why so many women are being killed by men when we live in a society where women are, in the majority of instances, the nurturers of the children?

Are these women who were the nurturers of the men who commit violent acts against other women asking themselves why? Are the women like the teachers who are in a position to influence the behaviour of young men asking themselves what these young men think of them?

There is a saying that reminds that “the son is the father of the man!” These teachers seem not to realize this.

I know that several parents and education officials reading this letter will be tempted to dismiss it as the ‘rantings’ of a dissatisfied parent. But remember that when one part of the body is sick the entire body is sick. Your child may not be one directly affected now but it will affect them.

We all live in the same society – it is this same society that produced the violent criminals that wreaked havoc in our country a few years ago – all were affected.

Editor my resort to writing to you is to have someone pay some attention to what is happening in our schools. When it is felt that the police exercise excesses against criminals the Human Rights Associations; the opposition political parties and all and sundry jump on the ‘band wagon’ because this is a ‘sexy’ topic and will bring attention to whatever it is they are doing. Why not the same action when the innocent in society are being abused and taken advantage of?

Could someone in the legal profession advise what if any action could be taken against these persons to make then an example and prevent other children from suffering?

The situation is getting out of control and someone needs to put a stop to it now. I know that the sentiments expressed herein are not exclusive to me and I know that many parents, some of whom are teachers, will agree with me. Let us all resolve to take some action.

Be aware that it is not only the children that need help. These teachers need help also. I am of the strong opinion and my experience has taught me that ‘hurt people, hurt people’. Let us try to bring healing and protect our society by protecting our children.

Maybe it is time for a national conversation to resolve this once and for all. And please Madam Minister if you are going to do this please do not use officials from the education system! The parents will not talk to them, they are more feared than the police as they have the lives of our precious children – our pride and joy, in their hands and they could hurt us as they often do. Use the resources available in the communities – the social organizations to gather the information for you, it may be an eye opener for our country. After all they are the first ones that the broken people turn to.

Yours faithfully,

Raymon Cummings

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