A hungry teacher is an angry teacher
La Sonja Harrison

Dear Editor,

Much can be said about the behaviour of a male teacher towards a student in a recent viral video.

While we condemn the act, we should also take a balanced look at the working conditions that teachers face daily and how these factors may impact their mental health. Are teachers violent or are they falling apart, broke, and under pressure?

There is an old saying, "A hungry man is an angry man." Perhaps the same holds true for Jamaican teachers who are increasingly losing their patience with the entire system. Many have taken off like the wind to greener pastures overseas. The word 'exodus' was a buzz word in 2022 regarding local teachers. Those who remain are, for the most part, suffering through a lengthy wage negotiation. Meanwhile, the prices of many basic commodities have escalated. Something has to give.

President of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) La Sonja Harrison has been leading a valiant fight in the wage negotiations under this new compensation structure. Put the gas on it, JTA!

Indiscipline is rife amongst the youth. It is no secret that Jamaican teachers are overwhelmed and stressed. This is not the first time we have seen altercations of this nature. There was an incident at Pembroke Hall High School and another at Denham Town High School. Both went viral and they were as hard to watch as this most recent incident. Is he as bad as he proclaimed or did he "lose it"? I pray it's the latter.

In a society grappling with a high crime rate, this can't be it for our education system. School is supposed to be a haven. Teachers must exercise control, but I understand that they are humans with feelings and problems, some of which can be solved with money.

We have lost many of our teachers to other countries. Let's not lose them to prison. The focus has always been on peace among students. Perhaps it's time to stage an intervention for teachers to reduce the stress and curb the anger.

I sincerely hope that these violent tempers will cease. And I hope that our teachers will finally be paid what they deserve. Many of us don't just work for the love of it, so why should we expect that of teachers.

Suzette Campbell


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