Trade union calls for Garcia's dismissal
In a statement issued Wednesday, Maharaj, who is also leader of political party the National Solidarity Assembly (NSA), said if Garcia refuses to resign, then his appointment should be revoked, as he says he is unable to deal with the issue of bullying in schools.
"Mr. Garcia seems incapable of dealing with the issues of bullying and school violence and seems to be burying his head in the sand, while attempting to hoodwink the nation, by superficial platitudes, without any meaningful action on the issue."
"It is incomprehensible that every issue of bullying and violence has been deemed by Mr. Garcia as being child’s play, instead of admitting that some of our students may actually need punitive sanction or psychological help. The final straw was a student who was beaten into unconsciousness and then made to apologise to her attackers and was also being suspended."
"Worse than this, is Mr Garcia’s reaction to the protest of parents aboutnine-year-oldold school boy allegedly threatening and making sexual advances on other students and also threatening teachers."
"Mr Garcia, instead of conducting a proper investigation into the matter including interviewing both parents and students, exposed his myopic and narrow minded viewpoint by saying he cannot see a nine year old boy doing this, whilst statistics and evidence all show that internationally and even locally, even at primary school levels students engage in fighting, bullying and sexual experimentation."
"Mr. Garcia seems totally out of touch with today schools environment and the fact that as a result of technology, communication and television, we have a school population with greater awareness and in some cases more mentally advanced."
Maharaj said legislative reform should be implemented to make parents accountable for childrens' misbehaviour.
"We need to implement legislative reform to ensure that parents are also held accountable for the actions of children under the age of 16 years old."
"In addition, we must also have punitive sanctions for children involved in criminal behaviour. They must face the consequences of their actions, to do otherwise is to encourage a generation of law breakers. Such measures as community service, expulsion, psychological assistance, a police presence, and separate schooling institutions must be set up."
"We cannot have a few students disrupting entire schools, whilst teachers who are willing to teach and students who are willing to learn are living in fear under physical and mental torture."
Maharaj said students look at suspensions as a 'vacation'.
"To simply transfer a problem student from one school to another is passing the buck and the problem to someone else. Mr. Garcia does not seem to understand what any teacher if asked could tell him, and that is, many problem students look at suspension as a form of extra vacation."
"Mr. Garcia seem to be totally out of touch and with today’s school environment, a dinosaur in a different world, and needs to be relieved of his duties and placed somewhere more comfortable."
"We must begin to take back our school by any means necessary."
A Mayaro schoolgirl was recently suspended along with her attackers after she was beaten until motionless and left in a drain.
In a separate incident, parents of the Santa Rita RC Primary School protested regarding a nine-year-old boy who was allegedly beating and sexually harassing students and teachers.
Garcia said however expressed doubt over the claims.