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Several on ‘hit list’ at Sando school: 15 students from Forms One to Five suspended

Friday, March 11, 2016

Teachers, safety officers and other senior staff at the San Fernando West Secondary School are among several people on an alleged hit list organised by a group of students last week.

On Thursday, acting principal, Ronald Mootoo, reported the threats to San Fernando police and so far 15 students from Forms One to Five were suspended. However, a staff member at the school said those students were expected to return on Monday.

The whistleblower came in the form of a female student who found the list posted on Facebook by a schoolmate and reported it to one of the school’s safety officers. It included ten teachers, two safety officers, two deans of discipline and the school’s vice-principal.

“What we know is that we had about ten teachers whose names were on a list. It was reported by a student to one of the safety officers that there were about ten teachers on a list who were going to be dealt with by the students.

“I can’t say what ‘dealt with’ means but the student reported that was on the post. She named one teacher and indicated that according to the list ‘that when that teacher falls down, this time she won’t’ get back up,” Mootoo said.

Calls were made to T&T Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) president Devanand Sinanan and vice-president Lynsley Doodhai but there was no response. Education Minister Anthony Garcia also did not respond to phone calls yesterday but the T&T Guardian learned that Victoria District school supervisors visited the school.

TTUTA staff representative, Indra Ramsingh-Geoffroy, said she advised teachers to individually report the matter to police and several of them did so. She said although Mootoo said he was treating the matter seriously, teachers want to know the names of students who were suspended for participation in that list. However, school officials have refused to give the names.

“What we are concerned about is that the teachers were not given the names of the students who are on that suspension list although we asked for it. We want to know who are the people we need to be careful with.”

A teacher at the school said those targeted on the list were senior members who would usually discipline students for errant behaviour but Ramsingh-Geoffroy said it was puzzling since some of the targeted teachers were quiet people. Cpl Joseph is continuing inquiries.