WITU commissions antiviolence survey in schools

POSTED: 03/20/13 11:14 AM

St. Maarten – The Windward Islands Teachers Union yesterday began circulating a survey in all schools to garner scientific information on the level of violence against teachers perpetrated against teachers. Union president Claire Elshot yesterday said that since last Thursday the union’s board agreed to proceed with the survey. It will be under the theme Stop the Violence Against Teachers and features a 5 page questionnaire.
The union first spoke of the issue last week when it said that a group of teachers contacted it to air their grievances. The teachers complained of being the victims of slaps, insults, threats and abusive language from their students. They also decried the fact that stern disciplinary measures were not enforced against errant students.
“We will be able to get a lot of information from this survey. We do hope that at the end of the survey we will be able to get a clearer picture. You don’t kill the messenger, there was a group of teachers that came out, they broke the silence on this issue but in the background there were a number of other teachers that are silently suffering.”
A number of events will also be organized to bring more awareness to the issue, Elshot said, including a peaceful march for which the union is still seeking a permit. Information on the date of the event, route and how to access t-shirts will be made available soon.
“It is not something that is restricted to one group of teachers. What is not your problem today may eventually become your problem, so as teachers we all have to come together in solidarity,” Elshot said as she urged everyone to support the initiative. Posters will also be printed with the slogan “no more words, time for action, stop the violence against teachers.”
For now the union says it is concentrating on getting the survey out first and then they will request a meeting with the Minister of Education.

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