Thu | Feb 9, 2023

Strife rocks Homestead as meeting ends in stalemate

Published:Wednesday | November 30, 2022 | 12:11 AM
Teachers dressed in black at Homestead Primary and Infant are joined by parents as the staff staged a sit-out at the Spanish Town school on Tuesday.
Teachers dressed in black at Homestead Primary and Infant are joined by parents as the staff staged a sit-out at the Spanish Town school on Tuesday.

A meeting between education ministry personnel, trade union officials, and disgruntled teachers at Homestead Primary and Infant School in St Catherine has failed to quash concerns.

Teachers dressed in black staged a sit-out at the Spanish Town school on Tuesday in protest over the handling of a disciplinary matter involving a student at the school.

The grade three boy, who was reportedly disciplined by a schoolteacher, allegedly hurled stones inside the classroom, injuring the teacher and eight other students in the classroom. He reportedly kicked and slapped another teacher.

The teacher was taken to hospital where she was treated for injuries to her mouth.

A member of the teaching staff who requested anonymity and attened the meeting told The Gleaner that no resolution was reached.

“What transpired was a promise to meet with us and the representatives of the JTA at a later date to iron out the problems,” said the teacher, referencing the Jamaica Teachers’ Association.

Tuesday’s sit-out by the teachers followed what they said was the failure of principal Sophia Deer to deal with the matter in the interest of the teachers.

“I am very upset. I am a disgruntled teacher because something needs to be done because this matter has escalated,” said the teacher who claimed she was kicked and slapped.

Deer was accused of being disrespectful to teaching staff.

The principal, when contacted late Tuesday, said she would not unilaterally address the allegations at this time but assured that she and the school board would issue a joint statement on Wednesday.

In February 2020, the principal was involved in a brawl with a sixth-grader.

Deer claimed self-defence.

Meanwhile, acting chairman of the school board and Jamaica Labour Party councillor for the Homestead division, Mark McLean, declined comment on Tuesday. He participated in the hastily called meeting at the school.

editorial@gleanerjm.com