Mother vows to withdraw child from school after cellphone fuss
Classes to resume at Ocho Rios Primary

OCHO RIOS, St Ann — A parent who was involved in an altercation with an administrator at Ocho Rios Primary School in St Ann on Monday morning has reportedly indicated that she will remove her child from the institution.

The decision was made following a lengthy meeting between the parties, members of the school's administration and the police. Meanwhile, classes are expected to resume on Tuesday morning.

Teachers walked off the job Monday after the parent allegedly attacked the school's vice-principal, Althea Green.

"We had a meeting today and it was resolved through discussions and dialogue with both parties. The parent decided that she would remove her child from the school [and] apologise to the vice-principal," chairman of the school board and councillor of the Ocho Rios Division Michael Belnavis told the Jamaica Observer.

The Observer was told that the altercationl began when a teacher confiscated the cellphone of a student who was using the device while class was in session. The phone was then handed over to the vice-principal. The student's mother was then alerted to the incident by her child's friend. The mother reportedly entered the school compound and demanded that the device be returned, leading to an altercation.

According to Belnavis, classes should resume on Tuesday morning and a meeting is scheduled to discuss conflict resolution.

"We will have our way forward conference at the school with the guidance counsellor and teachers and things should be back to normal," he said.

"Some teachers had gone on the road having heard what happened, but their concern was for their own safety and to ensure that nothing like this happens in the future. So we will be putting some protocols in place such as dispute resolution to teach them how to deal with irate parents. We will also have additional security and the police will be making routine checks," he added.

Jamaica Teachers; Association President La Sonja Harrison condemned the incident.

"We certainly have to find a way to better resolve our conflict and demonstrate same to our children. Too many poor examples are being shown to our children and that is putting our society in an unstable place," Harrison told the Observer.

BY AKERA DAVIS Observer writer

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