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La Croix mom wants justice for pre-schooler

La Croix mom wants justice for  pre-schooler


A La Croix mother is claiming that she was told not to bring her son back to the government operated Cane End Childhood Pre-school, after a disagreement over her decision to give her child corn curls and potato chips descended into a heated argument with the school’s head teacher.{{more}}

Up to press time, the three-year-old, Shamiel Hinds’ son, had not returned to the pre-school which adjoins the Cane End Government School.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT, Shamiel said that she exchanged words with the school’s head teacher last Friday and was told by the head teacher not to bring the child back to school. When contacted on Wednesday, the head teacher directed SEARCHLIGHT to the Ministry of Education.

“She tell me plain talk don’t bring back my child back in the school,” an upset Hinds told SEARCHLIGHT on Friday.

“I want to know now why my son can’t go a government school, that ministry, or that the Government paying teachers to do their work…no matter if we poor or we rich, they not suppose to tell you keep your child home or keep the child away from school,” stressed Hinds.

Hinds explained that her troubles began when she was told by a cook at the school that her son was not supposed to bring two juices to school, which she normally gives to him so he can have a drink at his different snack times. Hinds said she ignored the cook and made a complaint to the supervisor of the pre-school, who told her she would deal with the matter.

The upset mother said that two weeks ago, she gave her son potato chips and corn curls as snacks for recess because, “that’s the only thing I had in me name, I didn’t have nothing else more”.

Hinds said that she was informed that the Ministry of Education does not allow corn curls and potato chips and this sparked a disagreement between a teacher and herself. She said that the next day, she gave her son juice and other snacks, but to her surprise, he returned home with the snacks and told her that he was not given anything but juice for recess.

Later that evening, Hinds said her son fell ill, vomiting, and she presumed that it was because he did not eat during recess.

After nursing her son that night, Hinds said she took him to school the following day and instructed him to eat his recess when he’s hungry, even if he has to go into his bag for his snacks. Hinds said a teacher who overheard her asked why she said that to her son and she explained what had happened.

She says the teacher clarified the situation, informing her that her son was fed a teatime biscuit. After realizing her son had lied, Hinds said she scolded him and made sure he apologized to the teacher. After this, she said everything seemed resolved, until last Friday morning, when Hinds said the head teacher approached her with an “attitude,” asking to have a word with her. Hinds said she was then told not to come to the school and harass the teachers.

“I said nobody ain’t perfect and a rich man who can afford something he can afford it; if a poor man can afford it, they give their child what they have and she turned to me and tell me, ‘if you can’t give your child what you supposed to give your child to bring school is best for you to keep him home or don’t bring him back to school’. So I say this is a government school; you can’t tell me don’t bring back my child at this school here,” said Hinds, who alleged that the head teacher then told her that she should get a job so that she would be able to pay for a pre-school to put her son.

The upset mother told SEARCHLIGHT that she would never prevent her son from going to school because “he loves it there”, adding that she doesn’t want her son to become a “bad boy” or “gangster” on the streets.

“I try my best as a poor mother, to bring my child up in the best way, make sure that he get the best education to be what he want to be,” said Hinds, who alleges that the head teacher told her to take her child out of the school and “don’t bring him back,” if she couldn’t abide by the rules.

Shamiel said that there was a heated exchange of words and the head teacher told her to leave the school after which she told her son to get his juice and another teacher held on to him and told him to stay in school.

“The principal turned to the teacher and tell the teacher to let go the child and let the child go with the mother, and if I don’t leave the school, she will do what she have to.”

She said that she doesn’t have a job and can’t afford to send her child to another school.

“That school is for parents who can’t afford it and I don’t know my son not suppose to have right to go a government school; he is a born Vincentian; he is not a foreigner; he has rights in any school,” she said, stating that there were never complaints about the child misbehaving, but the snacks were always the issue.

When contacted, a Ministry official said that the child can return to school anytime the mother sees it fit to take him back.