Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2023. 3:30 pm CST.
By Breaking Belize News Staff: The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) has responded to the recent allegations of inappropriate behavior by a teacher at Canaan SDA High School. The teacher, who allegedly had been sending inappropriate texts to a teenage student, has been placed on administrative leave while the Ministry of Education conducts an investigation.
Elena Smith, President of BNTU, stated that their mandate is to ensure that the teacher in question is not being taken advantage of, while also ensuring that proper procedures are being followed. “We have to pay attention to the process in dealing with these matters…so the education rules itself provides a manner in which these matters are dealt with,” Smith stated.
Smith reiterated “It’s not just that the principal will automatically send the teacher home and say…this is the allegation, go home”.
While BNTU does not condone inappropriate behavior by teachers, they must follow established procedures to ensure that the process is followed fairly. Smith also noted that they have discussed having a meeting with the Principals Association of Secondary Schools to see how they can provide support for teachers.
In terms of the students affected by the situation, Smith stated that “Most secondary schools, most of them fortunately have counsellors in place to assist students”. The Ministry of Education can also provide counseling services for the students in cases where the school does not have a counsellor.
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