Thu | Jan 17, 2019

St Hilda’s: another view

Published:Monday | October 26, 2015 | 11:10 PMFaith Linton


The media have had a field day over the St Hilda's issue. Public opinion seems to have come down heavily on the side of those who see the principal and even the board of the school as culpable.

Before the dust settles on this issue, I feel there is a place for yet another perspective. It is the perspective of a retired teacher who was a pupil at St Hilda's for periods between 1956 and 1980.

It seems to me that an important element has been missing from this whole controversy. It is not only a human-rights issue. There is a wider context, involving the nature of schools in general, and the role they play in the society.

Teachers are often called upon to play many parts: that of parent, nurse, nutritionist and counsellor, among others. It was school that taught me how foundational relationship was in all areas of life. I learnt to trust my teachers and in one way or another, each teacher became my role model, my mentor, my guide. What an awesome responsibility!

Teachers therefore need the empathy, support and gratitude of every thinking adult in the society. Every aspect of the country's life benefits from the work of our schools.

Teachers make mistakes; we all do. When they do, we must avoid the bull-in-a-china shop' approach. There is so much at stake. Mistakes can be learning opportunities. However, an unwise, merciless and overintrusive reaction to the mistake causes harm instead of healing.