Gleaner Editors' Forum| Stay away from our students! JTA says it consistently warn teachers
The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) says it consistently warn both male and female teachers to stay away from their students.
The reminder comes as a Trinidadian national currently teaching at a Corporate Area junior high school faces a murder charge in the death of 13-year-old Shanoya Wray whose charred remains were found in a house in Mona, St Andrew in July.
He is also facing sex-related charges involving the teenager.
Secretary General of the JTA, Byron Farquharson says the leadership of the 25,000-member union does not get “frequent” reports of teachers being involved in sexual relations with students.
Farquharson indicated, too, the JTA does not get involved after the allegations are made public. “Once it goes into the public space most times it becomes a criminal activity and we don’t get involved with that,” he said.
“Neither do we seek defence for criminal activities once teachers get involved with students,” he added.
Farquharson says teachers have a duty of care to their students and “should not be involved, sexually or, otherwise, getting too close to our students.”
“The JTA denounces…condemns that kind of behaviour,” Farquharson told The Gleaner.
He, however, acknowledged that if a teacher is accused of being involved with a student, the JTA has to come to their defence. “But defence doesn’t mean agreement,” he pointed out.