Please Teacher Darling
Barbadians have proven once again that we live in a society where the vast majority of us prefer to bury our heads in the sand. The furore, created by the publication of a story about two school children having sex at school, has given me the impression that too many people preferred not to find out about this in a public forum. That would have allowed them to continue to delude themselves that all is well in our schools.
I must admit that the Nation could have been a bit more restrained in its delivery of the story. But I believe that it is high time that the decadence that is being nurtured, in our schools, is exposed. When children go to school, they ought not to be exposed to illicit sexual behaviour, either as a participant or spectator. Unfortunately, when instances of serious bad behaviour are discovered, the authorities go into cover up mode ostensibly to protect the good name of the school. It would appear that little thought is given to the welfare of the affected children or the law when they investigate and deal with school-based child sexual abuse and other crimes.
Over the years, there have been many reports of little school girls being introduced to sex far too early by their teachers. The method of dealing with these matters vary, but in most cases, the perpetrators get away with a slap on the wrist, and are allowed to continue their activity until they are caught again or retired.
Mind you, sexual exploitation of school children is nothing new: it is just hidden to protect the parties. Many years ago, a principal impregnated one of his students, and rather than fire the bastard, he was given leave to pursue a masters. Effectively, he was given time to allow the dust to settle and he returned to school as if nothing had happened. Thankfully he is now retired.
Since then his place of shame has been taken. Last year, a male teacher, at a secondary school was caught having sex with one of his students on school premises. The child’s mother was called in and informed about what transpired. She fainted. The child has been transferred to another government secondary school. And the part-time teacher is still employed at the same school and free to repeat his behaviour. Apparently, this matter was handled in-house without reference to the Education Ministry.
This type of behaviour has damaged the foundation of mutual respect that should exist between student and teacher. It is causing a breakdown of discipline throughout the schools. Sex between school children is bad enough but it is far worse when one of the participants is a teacher.