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Bureaucratic inertia in porn allegation investigation

Bureaucratic inertia in porn allegation investigation

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ALLEGATIONS OF pornographic material being shown in a classroom has justifiably elicited a strong response from the Parent Teacher Association of the Union Island Secondary School. It goes without saying that no teacher should bring pornographic material into the classroom. It would violate their professional responsibility as teachers and any such action as alleged would clearly constitute reprobate and reprehensible conduct that is absolutely intolerable.

If proven, such a person needs to be permanently removed from having any instructional authority over children.

It is therefore alarming that the Ministry of Education has had nothing to say about these claims. At a minimum, an allegation of such magnitude demands the suspension from the classroom of the alleged offender until an impartial body is able to determine the truth or falsehood of these claims. Thus far, as far as we know, the alleged offender remains on the job.

We assume bureaucratic inertia rather than a lack of moral fortitude explains this delay by educational authorities and the police. But when a teacher is alleged to corrupt the classroom in such an appalling fashion, speed is essential to demonstrate that the authorities and the broader public recognize that there are values which are so sacrosanct that no one would be allowed to violate them without sanction.

There are few things more important than the protection of our children. And there should be no safer space than our schools where our children go to seek learning. All teachers are invested with a special trust: to instruct our children both in skill and sensibilities consistent with the best values of our society. If indeed a teacher has polluted the learning environment in the manner alleged, punishment must be swift, certain, and surgical: the end of his or her career as a teacher.

This issue also raises broader questions about the use of cell phones in our lives.

The phone is an indispensable component of modern communication. But where the access to the Internet also brings with it unrestricted access to pornography, strict rules must be in place concerning the use of cell phones in the classroom. The children have alleged that the teacher was looking at pornographic material on his cell phone and shared this with some of his students. What a teacher does away from the classroom on his phone is nobody’s business.

But the same does not apply to the classroom. Clearly teachers are responsible for policing themselves.

Those who fail to do so are not only failing themselves, they are failing our children.

In such an instance the Ministry of Education has a compelling duty: remove the offending teacher from the classroom.

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