A mother who alleges that her eight-year-old son was abused at the Ellerton Primary School’s Special Education Unit last week is calling for the teacher whom she claimed beat the child with a stick, to be removed from the institution as soon as possible.
The parent said the teacher lashed the child because “he don’t listen”.
An aggrieved Charmaine Ifill told Barbados TODAY that she believes not only was the educator not suitable to teach her son who has Down’s Syndrome, but she should also not be teaching other children with special needs.
Ifill said following the incident, which she claimed happened last Thursday, she complained to the school’s principal whom she said apologized for the teacher’s alleged actions.
The mother said she also made a complaint to the Ministry of Education where she also requested a transfer for her son, but was told that there were no available spaces at any of the other units on the island.
“So he had these black and blue marks on his back. So I asked he how he got them and he told me Ms [x] beat him with a stick and then put him on the ground to sit down. I was really upset. I went by the school and she couldn’t give me any explanation for why his back looks like that.
“The principal told me he was really sorry for what happened, but I took it further. I carry he to the police, carry he to the doctor, and went to the ministry. The police took pictures and said they will deal with it,” she said.
“So when my cousin went and collect he, he was on the ground sleeping. And she ain’t got any shame. She tell my cousin come and see where [the child] sleeping. But she ain’t telling my cousin the reason why he sleeping on the ground. She beat he and put he on the ground to sit down. So it is only obvious if you beat a child, and he cry, he would cry himself to sleep. And he got a hole in his heart. He does have seizures, and I don’t beat he. That lil boy so frightened for licks,” the mother added.
Ifill said officials at the ministry told her to take her son back to that same institution today.
However, she was adamant that the ministry should remove the teacher from the school since she believes she is a threat to the students.
“When you carry to school your children you want to know that them feel safe, and that them in a safe environment, if you understand what I am saying. Them is special children and she beating them with a stick, and that ain’t the first time. The week before she beat him . . . All she was saying is he don’t listen.
“The ministry tell me I could only get the transfer in September because all the special units full up right now. All now this morning he crying because he don’t want to go to school,” Ifill said.
When contacted, Principal Andrew Haynes said he had no comment to make on the matter.
Meanwhile, as Acting Minister of Education Lucille Moe headed into Parliament today, she told Barbados TODAY that she could not comment on the incident since she now had to carry out her own investigations. However, she later confirmed that the matter was receiving the attention of the senior ministry officials. [email protected]