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PM addresses allegations made against 3 teachers

PM addresses allegations made against 3 teachers

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Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has appealed to the public to let justice take its course in the matter where three educators are suspected of being involved in homosexual acts with male students.{{more}}

The Prime Minister, commenting on the touchy issue yesterday at a press conference at Cabinet Room, said that he understands the feeling of public anger towards the men, whom it is alleged have been involved in immoral sexual acts with male students. He said in any legal situation, a process must take place.

“I understand the outpouring of people, and I heard some of it on the radio stations and it has been reported to me about the intensity of public feeling, but the intensity of public feeling has always to be channeled in a manner where due process is observed.”

“Now I have to be mindful that persons who have been accused of a particular conduct, they have all their presumptions in their favour intact…. You can’t do what is asked… string the fella up and hang him; he who is accused is entitled to due process- charge him if there is sufficient evidence, including admissible evidence and to have it deliberated in court,” said Gonsalves.

The men, who were posted at various divisions in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, were questioned by police between February 14 and 18, in connection with the offences of buggery and gross indecency.

While the men have been released, charges could still be laid against them, as police investigations continue.

Gonsalves noted that while persons may believe that the Ministry of Education might have been silent on the matter, the necessary steps had been taken by the officials concerned.

This includes informing the Chief Personnel Officer, who has the authority to address all issues of discipline arising in matters of that kind.

The Prime Minister said that the office of the Attorney General is advising the Ministry of Education and the office of the Chief Personnel Officer as to how to proceed with the matter.

“I was informed this morning by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education that the Ministry will be issuing a statement and I imagine that the statement would in all probability include an affirmation that the Ministry is duty bound to ensure that the rules and regulations relating to the delivery of education in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are observed professionally and that the laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are obeyed and followed within the education system,” said Gonsalves.

He added: “I am not ducking the issue; I am addressing an issue of how justice has to proceed.”

“You noticed I have not addressed from the education standpoint the issue of the police and the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions). That is their business, I don’t get involved in that because the DPP’s office is independent of the Executive. I was only addressing the question of what response from the Ministry of Education and if the Ministry of Education was aware, and what the Ministry of Education has done in respect of the administrative matters which is its duty to address.”