Spot Valley High student suspended after attacking teacher

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Richard Thompson, Principal of Spot Valley High

The student of Spot Valley High School in St. James, who reportedly attacked her teacher on Monday, has been suspended for two weeks.

This was disclosed by Principal of Spot Valley High Richard Thompson, who cautioned that the student is facing further sanction on her return. 

“At this moment, I’m not able to get into details because at this moment it’s with the personnel committee of the board, and I don’t want to jeopardise the hearing that is to come,” he said, adding that the 10-day suspension is in keeping with the Education Act. 

“It’s a process that we go through in the education sector. There’s an Education Act of 1980 that we must start out with first investigating and giving the student 10 days, referring her to the personnel committee to do further investigation,” he noted. 

The grade 9 student is said to have repeatedly hit her female teacher in the face, after being reprimanded. 

The Jamaica Teachers’ Association has condemned the incident and warned that its teachers have been coming under attacks from unruly students, forcing many to leave the classroom.

Principal Thompson said the incident has triggered fear among staff, including the affected teacher, who has not returned to school since the incident which took place on Monday. 

“The teacher is really going through a lot. She would have been to the doctor and would have expressed her fear of returning to work. And it’s right across the board because it is something that we grapple with not only at this school, but at other schools. It is just sad that this has happened and she is still in fear as it relates to the whole atmosphere of the students that she’ll be teaching when she comes back to school,” he lamented. 

Mr. Thompson said more intervention is needed to address indiscipline among students. 

“I think personally what my school would need is not more dean of discipline, but more maybe social workers to deal with the different issues that come with the discipline of our students. I really think that with that in place, more social workers, we could be able to deal with more of the underlying issues that cause our behavioural problems,” the principal proposed.