Comissiong stands by his position

A LOCAL attorney remains adamant that the demands from the island’s two teachers’ unions that a secondary school pupil, who is said to have attacked a teacher, be expelled, is wrong.

Attorney-at-law and President of the Clement Payne Movement, David Comissiong, maintains that not only are the demands subversive of the Laws of Barbados, but the right of the child to a fair and just disciplinary process.

In a press release distributed yesterday, Comissiong, contending that he is not anti-trade union, said he is only trying to offer advice that could possibly help to ensure that the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) and the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) do not go down the wrong path in relation to the matter.

Responding to comments made by President of the BSTU, Mary Ann Redman, yesterday, in response to remarks attributed to him in another section of the press earlier this week, the attorney made it clear that even though Section 29 of the Education Regulations 1982 has been amended, and the person who was formerly called “the Headmaster” is now referred to as “the Principal”, this does not in any way change the principle that he sought to draw to the Unions’ attention.

“I expressed that ‘principle’ in my Press Release of 24th April, 2016 as follows: The leaders of the BSTU and the BUT are wrong, because, under the Laws of Barbados, a legal process has been established for dealing with cases in which students of public schools are charged with committing serious breaches of discipline (inclusive of acts that cause injury to a teacher), and that legal process must be permitted to run its course without outside pressure, intimidation and threats being brought to bear on the persons and institutions charged with administering the process and adjudicating the matter,” he reiterated.

Referring to the original legislation and the amended version, Comissiong contended that there is a clearly stipulated process that the student is entitled to have applied to her in a fair and impartial manner.

He made the point while also citing Section 29 (4) and (5) of the regulations, which state that where a pupil is expelled from a public school ,the parent of the child may appeal the expulsion to the Minister of Education, who after examining the circumstances surrounding the expulsion, may either confirm the expulsion; replace the expulsion with a period of suspension; or immediately re-admit the pupil to the school from which he is expelled or to any other school. (JRT)

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