"I will slap you"
Principal/parent clash over student in school; MOE steps in
The Ministry of Education had to step in to help resolve an issue between a parent and a school regarding accepting a child in class. .

Dear Claudienne,

I am writing to you because I am very frustrated and angry about the disrespectful way I have been treated by the principal and Grade 3 teacher of the primary school in Kingston and St Andrew that my child attends. I have been unjustly treated by this principal and it is contributing to my muscle spasm illness.

Due to illness in my family and financial problems, my son was not in school for a period. My son is in Grade 3 and a different teacher has come to replace his original class teacher who has gone on maternity leave.

On May 10, 2022, I went to speak with the principal after my son's name was taken off the school register and I was told that he should come in and do the June test. However, when I went to the school and tried to speak to the replacement class teacher, she said, "Lady, lady. I don't have any time for you."

When in reply, I addressed the teacher as "Lady Lady", she became boisterous and shut my son out of the class. I spoke with the principal about the situation but my son's class teacher told her that she had no space in her class to take my son as another child had taken his space.

"Me and her had an argument and me not taking him in me class," she told the principal. I gave the administrative staff at the school my phone number and although they promised to call me, they did not.

I went to the Ministry of Education and made a complaint, then took my son to the school after the principal promised to place him in another class. She however said that she would write his name on a piece of paper but would not write his name in the registry

After leaving my son at the school I went back to the ministry and was assured by an officer that my son's name would be put back on the registry of the school, as of Tuesday, June 7, 2022.

However, when I returned to the school for my son, he told me that he was taken out of devotion by the principal and put on the corridor to stand all day until school was over. My son told me he felt very ashamed as he had done nothing wrong and did not want to go back to the school. He cried because of the way he was treated by the principal, and I believe that she has traumatised and psychologically damaged my son.

The principal is being very malicious and is a disgrace to the principal community, who should display care and concern for our children. After I reminded the principal that "you are serving the Jamaican people and this school is a Government-owned school, and not your private school", she proceeded to tell me, "I will slap you."

I then reminded her that I am the mother of a 21-year-old and a 23-year-old. I told her "I am not your child. I am a parent and you are very rude and have passed your place."

Your help would be appreciated in this matter.

KR

Dear KR,

Tell Claudienne sent your complaint to the office of the minister of education. The minister's secretary told the column that your complaint was sent to the Region 1 director for investigation.

The Region 1 director has informed the minister that "the student has been reintegrated at the primary school and the requisite intervention done at the senior management level".

An officer in the Region 1 office told Tell Claudienne that your son "has not been left disadvantaged".

We wish you all the best.

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