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  • Minister of Education, Hon Rev. Ronald Thwaites says teachers who prey on students must be reported to the police immediately by the appropriate authority from the affected schools.
  • He emphasised that predatory behaviour by teachers, is a criminal matter.
  • Rev. Thwaites noted that the Ministry has had reports of predatory behaviour “and where those reports have reached us we have acted decisively.”

Minister of Education, Hon Rev. Ronald Thwaites says teachers who prey on students must be reported to the police immediately by the appropriate authority from the affected schools.

The Minister was responding to comments made by Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon-Harrison that since the start of 2014, her Office has received increased reports of teaching professionals having inappropriate relations with students.

He emphasised that predatory behaviour by teachers, is a criminal matter. “If the authority in the school knowingly or negligently fails to make that report he or she is culpable as well under law,” Rev. Thwaites said.

The Minister was speaking to journalists at a post sectoral debate press briefing held on May 8 at the Office of the Prime Minister.

Rev. Thwaites noted that the Ministry has had reports of predatory behaviour “and where those reports have reached us we have acted decisively.”

“I want to say also in the defense of teachers that sometimes malicious people accuse teachers of things which when examined are insubstantial and it is a terrible wrong to take set against somebody who you don’t like,” he commented.

“However the greatest danger is the vulnerability of the children. The rules regarding the discipline of teachers are complex and sometimes turgid. However any instance such as this… such as reported (or) alleged will be dealt with firmly,” he added.

For the last quarter of 2013, there were 14 cases of sexual interference with children reportedly at the hands of teaching professionals that were reported to the Office of the Children’s Advocate. For the period January-April 2014, 22 reports were made to the Office, of sexual impropriety perpetrated against students at the hands of teaching professionals.