Friday 24 May, 2019

Principal beaten to the head at Tunapuna Hindu Primary School

Archived photo of Education Minister Anthony Garcia speaking outside Education Ministry.

Archived photo of Education Minister Anthony Garcia speaking outside Education Ministry.

The principal of the Tunapuna Hindu Secondary School was rushed to the hospital by an ambulance after he was hit on the head with an object, by a man who entered the compound on Wednesday.

This was confirmed by Education Minister Anthony Garcia while speaking with Loop TT on Wednesday evening.

The interview stemmed from a social media post by former Government Minister Devant Maharaj, who claimed that the principal was hospitalised after being attacked by the relative of a student who was suspended on the same day.

However, noting that he could not confirm that report, Garcia said he was informed that the suspect was accompanied by another man, both of whom reportedly went to see the principal for a recommendation.

"Yes, there was an incident at the school where the principal was struck on the head with an extended baton. I was told that at around 2:40 pm today, two adults entered the compound and asked to see the principal. On arrival at the principal's office, they asked the principal for a recommendation. During discussions with the Principal, it is stated that one of the persons pulled out an extended baton and struck the principal a blow to his head. The principal was taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex and the police was called and the matter is being investigated by the police."

Garcia said he was appalled by the attack against the principal of that nature.

He also explained that he did not blame the security guard who was only doing his job by allowing the men to enter the compound.

"We already have protocols in place that will seek to prevent incidents like these beginning from the entry at the gate right on to the office of the principal. However, if somebody perhaps who is a parent, comes to the school and at the gate asks to see the principal, I think it is a normal thing for the security guard to allow that person to visit the principal. What has happened in this case is that that person really took advantage of the courtesy that was extended to him by going into the school and assaulting the principal."

The Education Minister assured that the safety and security of students and teachers are of paramount importance. He said as such, the Ministry will be sending officers from the Student Support Services Division to provide counselling services for students and members of staff.

"We will be doing everything to ensure that schools remain safe and that any perpetrator will be dealt with."

Meanwhile, condemning the behaviour of those responsible for the attack, Garcia expressed hope that they would be held accountable for their actions.

"I really abhor that type of behaviour. I'm asking that once that person has been found guilty, that person has to bear the full brunt of the law."

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