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May 8, 2023

Ruth Shoman stands down from Teachers’ Union presidency

Posted: Monday, May 8, 2023. 9:59 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: With less than a month to go before she would have taken office, Breaking Belize News has learned tonight that former National Secretary and presumptive President of the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU), Ruth Shoman, has decided to resign.

Shoman was elected in April at the BNTU National Convention in Orange Walk over Dangriga’s Ifasina Efunyemi to succeed the term-limited Senator Elena Smith.

But in a letter widely circulated and dated today, Shoman cites efforts of unnamed members of the BNTU Council of Management who she says “have been adamant in ensuring that they discredit me,” and further appears to blame Smith herself for “your apparent silence [which] enabled it to escalate which has brought great pain and suffering to my family, especially my children.

Answering reports that the Union was considering amendments to its Constitution which would have allowed Shoman to take office despite scrutiny over a past criminal complaint, Smith had told reporters that one person would not dictate the Union’s movements and a collective process would be used to consider the proposed amendments.

Shoman contends in her letter, “I cannot continue to be a part of an organization that has principles of fairness and justice, yet the manner in which I have been treated has been unfair and unjust.” She also cites the well-being of her family and states that she will also step down as the Union’s representative on the People’s Constitutional Commission with immediate effect.

First vice-president Jorge Rivas, elected like Shoman at the Convention in April, is likely first in line but the Union has not confirmed the resignation, nor spoken publicly about its next steps.

 

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