Teachers are being abused in schools, says JTA boss - Appealing for help to combat violence
Dr Garth Anderson, president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA), said teachers and school administrators are being abused physically and emotionally by their students, as violence in schools continues to be of great concern.
"Teachers and school administrators are being abused physically, verbally and emotionally by students, as violence in schools continues to haunt us," Anderson said while addressing the recent 54th conference annual of the JTA.
"Look at it, teachers are frustrated, administrators are frustrated, we have to seal our lips, lest we are accused of abusing our children emotionally, and our hands are tied," said Anderson, in what was an obvious pitch to the Ministry of Education. "Teachers and school administrators are operating on egg shells in great fear."
While praising the effort of the Government in installing metal detectors in all high schools, the JTA president said that that initiative was not enough to stem school violence.
"It cannot be the newly accepted norm," Anderson said in reference to the violence, which is increasingly becoming a regular occurrence in schools across the island.
While noting that the vast majority of the nation's students are well-behaved, Anderson said the current system is allowing a handful of maladjusted students to wreak havoc. He said he wants the Government to rescue teachers and school administrators from those students who are not ready to settle down for learning.
"In order to allow our schools to achieve their objectives of nurturing our children, we must proceed to isolate those who are not ready to adjust to a supportive learning environment," said Anderson. "To this end, I am calling for the construction of time-out facilities that are equipped with the psychosocial support to help our children that need this kind of assistance."
He added, "School personnel are spending far too much time addressing serious behavioural issues surrounding a few students who lack discipline at the expense of treating with the majority who are ready to move on with the business of learning."