PORT OF SPAIN –– The majority of teachers at South East Port-of-Spain Secondary School called in sick yesterday forcing the school to dismiss students around lunchtime, but only in the company of their parents or guardians.
The T&T Guardian was told that the teachers were frustrated with the attacks against the students by hoodlums from the nearby Nelson Street Plannings.
According to police, they met with the few teachers that attended school yesterday and heard some of their concerns, most of which involved students being harassed going to and from school.
The most recent incident took place sometime after 9 a.m. on Wednesday where a female student had her buttocks groped by a man and was also robbed.
Police said coming out of the meeting, they plan to increase their patrols in the area especially during school hours. Officers of the Port of Spain Division are also requesting that parents ensure that their children are in school during school hours.
Attempts to contact the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) were unsuccessful as well as officials from the Ministry of Education, including Education Minster Anthony Garcia.
On Monday, a student of the school was caught on video tussling with a police officer after she was stopped and quizzed about her relationship with a man whom she was speaking too.
The fifth form teenage girl told the T&T Guardian on Tuesday that she did not use obscene language, contrary to what police claimed in the video and admitted she refused to be taken to a police station for simply having a brief conversation.
The 18-year-old student, who is school prefect and a member of the Police Youth Club was on her way to lessons when the incident took place at Arlene’s Mall, Charlotte Street, Port of Spain. Following the incident she complained of back pain and pains to both hands.
The teen was never charged with any criminal offence and was released. On Beyond the Tape, policing program, head of the Port of Spain Division, Snr Sup Floris Hodge-Griffith praised the officers involved for their restraint in dealing with the teen and chastised school children, particularly girls for conversing with older men while in their uniform.
One caller in the program lamented that because of the video she sometimes ignore reports of missing school girls.