An apology from a teacher of Luther Thorne Primary School was not enough to placate a mother, whose daughter was allegedly beaten with a cou cou stick.
The mother, who asked that she not be named, has threatened to take the school to court, telling Barbados TODAY she intended to engage the services of an attorney-at-law and to call on the Child Care Board to investigate the alleged abuse.
The details surrounding the alleged incident remain unclear, and the report could not be immediately confirmed, although the mother said the teacher involved had apologized.
However, the angry parent said there were clear signs that her daughter had been beaten with an illegal instrument of punishment.
“She had three mosquito bites on her behind and the lashes with the cou cou stick welt them up. I asked the senior teacher why cou cou sticks [when] the Ministry of Education said no child should be beaten with any such thing,” the mother said.
Principal Marcia Best said little about the issue when she was contacted by Barbados TODAY, with her only comment being, “I am not aware of what you speak of”.
Senior Education Officer in the Ministry of Education Christina Morris gave an even more terse “no comment”, while Child Care Board Director Joan Crawford was unavailable.
However, the woman was adamant that she was not prepared to let the alleged incident slip, particularly because she was unhappy with the school’s response when she sought an explanation.
“What I want is for parents to know that all is not well at the school . . . that even though their children don’t come home and report these things, did not mean all was well. It is how the principal handled the situation,” the parent told Barbados TODAY.
“I got the impression that everybody like they wanted to cover up this matter of use of cou cou sticks at the school. I went to the Ministry of Education and talked to a lady, an officer . . . and this officer told me let it go and monitor it,” the parent claimed.
The upset woman expressed frustration that since the alleged incident, her daughter had been made to feel uneasy by constantly being called into the office and questioned about her mother’s actions.