The relevant stakeholders involved in child protection are reportedly investigating an allegation of sexual harassment involving a male teacher and a form five student at one of the nation’s secondary schools in St George’s.
The student reported informed one of her friends about the sexual encounter between herself and the male teacher who has taught technical subjects such as mathematics and technical drawing at the school for a very long time.
The friend told one of the teachers, and with knowledge about the requirements under the Child Abuse Protocol which says that teachers are among those who have an obligation to inform the authorities about alleged or suspected child abuse cases, that female teacher in return informed the Principal of the School. The 16 year old child was summoned to a meeting and eventually confirmed to the principal about the sexual encounter with the teacher.
Under the child abuse protocol, principals once they become aware of sexual and other child abuse allegations involving teachers and students must report the matter to the Chief Education Officer and the Child Protection Agency. These bodies will start an investigation and at an appropriate time information will be handed over to the police for criminal charges to be laid.
In a separate issue in July 2012, then School Teacher Aaron Hercules was given an 18-month prison sentence by Madam Justice, Margaret Price-Findlay, for unlawful carnal knowledge of a 15-year old student. He was found guilty of indecent assault by a nine-member jury that comprised six women and three men. Hercules who was 32 years of age at the time of the incident was accused of committing the sexual offence sometime between 1–31 March 2009 against a child who was a student at the school where he taught. The organisations felt he had betrayed the trust placed in him as a schoolteacher and should be removed from the system.