Police Open investigation after Ministry of Education allows ‘abuse’ accused teacher to resign – Magnetic Media

By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

#TurksandCaicos, January 25, 2023 – Citizens of the Turks and Caicos and the Police are dumbfounded and disturbed by the news that a potential child abuser may have been allowed to slip away under the lax gaze of one of the ministries arguably most equipped to deal with and most responsible for child welfare. .

In what can only be described as a gross failing on the Ministry of Education’s part, a teacher at the Raymond Gardiner High was allowed to hand in his resignation after reportedly having an inappropriate relationship with a teenager.

All professional bodies including teachers, operators and employees of day care centres, health care professionals, social workers are BOUND BY LAW to report all forms of child abuse to either the Police or the Director of Social Services ‘without delay’ according to the Children Care. and Protection Ordinance (2015). Breach of this law comes with a fine of $5,000 or to a term of imprisonment of six months, or both.

And yet the Ministry neglected to alert the police despite having knowledge of the issue only admitting it when the police, alerted by social media, began to investigate. The decision not to involve the police could have allowed the teacher to slip into another institution full of vulnerable young people. Without swift intervention from concerned citizens who knew of the slap-on-the-wrist resolution which had happened days prior it would have likely remained far from the public’s knowledge.

Police say they were alerted to rumblings on Whatsapp around 11:40 am Monday that a male teacher had been allowed to abscond while being investigated by them for alleged sexual assault against a student. MM also received the allegations around 11:40 am and reached out to the police after with our concerns. The police say minutes after receiving the information and having no previous reports of the matter they reached out to the Director of Education.

Now an investigation is opened into the serious matter.

“The Safeguarding and Public Protection Unit received an email response from the Director of Education indicating the Department of Education had received notice of the matter. The Director, via his email, recounted, he had spoken with a senior representative from the Department of Social Development on Friday 20th January. Later that day (January 20th), according to the Director’s account, the teacher submitted a resignation letter informing the Department of Education of his immediate resignation.”

The teacher notably was not fired from his post, but allowed the courtesy of resigning. While there was some level of reporting to a ‘senior member’ responsible for social services; that the individual was essentially allowed to walk away without consequence is concerning as the government should be a leading example of not only managing child

abuse cases, but responding firmly to reports of alleged offenders utilizing the full weight of the law as a guide and being a part of the mechanisms designed to protect the innocence of victims.

This may be found to be a case of dereliction of duty.

Historically, the Turks and Caicos Islands became a signatory to the Multi Agency Protocol for Prevention Reporting and Management of Child Abuse and Neglect in 2017, a protocol which Tiffany Thomas Brown, Director of the Department of Social Development explained to the press was geared at improving response to child abuse across the country’s different agencies by establishing specific standards for the “point of contact, methods of contact, and purpose of contact between relevant agencies, to define professional roles and responsibilities, and to reduce trauma to children by improving inter agency coordination. .”

Police Commissioner Trevor Botting is now on the record with his concern that the matter was dealt with without the Police or the SPPU.

The Education Ministry has not yet made a statement regarding the rationale behind the decision.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *