End The Violence Towards Educators Now!

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Dear Editor, As an educator of over 20 years I wish to highlight the blatant disrespect and acts of violence currently being meted out to us by rogue students.

There is a significant breakdown in the general level of respect shown to us by students, and in many instances the parents of these indisciplined students validate their bad behaviour.

Just recently the dean of discipline of a prominent high school was attacked and assaulted by a set of rogue students at the school. I don't have all the facts on this case, but it has to concern us deeply as educators that children who are under our care and supervision would unleash acts of violence and disrespect towards us.

It is my considered opinion that as a result of the high level of disrespect, aggression, and violence shown to educators by students and parents alike, there is a corresponding fluctuation in the relationship between teachers and students.

Many of us no longer feel motivated to go the extra mile for our students by giving them extra lessons, buying uniforms and school materials, and assisting with taxi fares and lunch money from the "stipend" we receive monthly. Despite the critical role educators play in students' growth and development, as well as the many personal sacrifices many of us make to ensure the well-being of our students, it is heart-rending to experience disrespect and violence from the very students we serve and serve well.

The violence and disrespect towards educators must end now.

I hate to say this, but the Ministry of Education (MOE) is largely responsible for the poor state of discipline in our schools. Educators have to bear the burden of making up for poor parenting and the absence of effective tools that can rehabilitate many of our students who are addicted to drugs, sex, and fashion; have no interest in school; and have no one in the home to mentor or guide them.

The MOE needs to make significant investment in disciplinary infrastructure to cater to the needs of troubled students, especially boys. However, if we want to solve the problem of indiscipline, all of us must work together. The ministry alone cannot solve it.

I am recommending that Minister of Education2s reimagines the education system with a greater focus on character and discipline. I think the minister should be impressing upon the Cabinet, of which she is a part, the need for investment in cadet academies, boarding schools, mandatory parenting seminars, and time out facilities, along with a national mentorship programme.

The reality is that many of our students' behaviour cannot be rehabilitated in regular school settings, no matter how hard we try. Keeping many of the recalcitrant students in the regular setting is venomous for the school's disciplinary structures and it is in our best interest to provide an alternative learning environment.

With all the societal decadence, crime and violence, gangs and criminal enclaves, our schools remain the only institution with universal impact and appeal (everybody goes to school) that can create meaningful change among troubled youth.

As educators, we are the salt of the society. Let us demand the respect and recognition that we deserve. The violence and disrespect being meted out to educators must end now! Help us to rescue our students and save our society.

The word is always love.

Andre A O Wellington
Dean of Discipline
Alston High School
[email protected]


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