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Mar 25, 2019

Protest at Holy Angels! Teachers, Parents & Students Demand Catholic Management to Assist

Earlier in the month, News Five broke the story of a growing infestation problem and decaying structures at Holy Angels RC School in Pomona Village. For several years, the teachers and students have been putting their health at risk as it relates to the dilapidating school building which continues to be infested by rats, bats, and termites. According to the parents and teachers, the management of the school has been aware of the situation, but has failed to address it.  The teachers and parents say they are willing to assist in fundraising almost sixty thousand dollars to rehabilitate the structure, but as Hipolito Novelo found out today, they were not happy when they were told that the Roman Catholic management wants to donate only two thousand dollars.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

The grounds at Holy Angels RC School in the Stann Creek Valley, Pomona Village, were active this morning with parents, teachers, and students who joined voices to express their discontent and frustration with the Roman Catholic management of the school. Teachers and students for many years have been battling with a rat bat infestation and dilapidating school building. The building was shut down a few weeks ago by the Ministry of Health. It not only poses a health threat to those inside, but it threatens the students’ education.

 

Emilia Rosa, Student

“One time I fell through a hole. They have like lots of holes in the classrooms and a rotten board.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Did you fall through a hole?”

 

Emilia Rosa

“Yes.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Did you hurt yourself?”

 

Emilia Rosa

“Yes.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“How do you feel being in there?”

 

Ricardo, Student

“Bad”

 

Iniki Lopez, Student

“We are clustered and it is really hot.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Are you able to focus, pay attention?”

 

Student

“No sir because the teachers teaching on the other side we can’t hear our students. You’ll be looking on both sides and it is not working.”

 

Austin Acosta, Student

“One of the teachers have to go and teach outside so that the next teacher can teach inside.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“You don’t like it?”

 

Austin Acosta

“No.”

 

Jasmine Arjona, Student

“It does distract us a lot on our upcoming P.S.E.  It needs us to be very focused but right now in this situation, it is not helping us.”

 

Giannie Vasquez, Student

“And the rat bat feces fall a lot and we breathe it in and it affects our body a lot.”

 

Priscilla Perdomo, Student

“We have a lot of students in our class and we have to struggle to move around and a lot of problems. The rat bat feces fall a lot and we have to inhale and that is not good for our help?”

 

At a recent meeting, the parents were reportedly told by parish priest Rodolfo Garcia that the Roman Catholic management is prepared to donate two thousand dollars towards the cause, towards the refurbishment of a building that is not owned by the parents, students or teachers but by the school. The estimated cost of rehabilitating the structure is sixty-thousand dollars and today’s protest was coordinated in an effort for the school management to receive that message loud and clear.

 

Rosalenie Andrades

Rosalenie Andrades, Parent

“In the meeting that we had with the teachers they said that they can afford to give us two thousand to three thousand dollars. For us, as a parent, we find that unacceptable.”

 

Lucinda Arnold, Parent

“Just to say, you know what we will contribute two thousand dollars. This is Catholic Management. The Catholic Institute for crying out loud. It supposed to be the richest religion institute. Come on!”

 

Olga Bardalez

Olga Bardalez, Parent

“The two thousand dollars that they are giving us is of no help because if the teachers and we the parents fundraise; how will we reach the sixty thousand if they only depend on we the parents.”

 

Daneli Pineda, Parent

“Catholic management really and honestly they have enough money. They are the richest church or organization that you could ever know about so they could donate more than that.”

 

News Five was told that Father Garcia reportedly suggested that parents who do not want to assist can keep their children at home.

 

Dana Cutkelvin, Teacher

“Anyone who has education at heart and the best interest of these children at heart will know that keeping the children at home is not the best thing.”

 

Francine Jones, Teacher

“I really don’t think that our students should be put through this. It is really inconvenient to them and it is something that they shouldn’t be affected with.”

 

Aaron Baide

Aaron Baide, Teacher

“Keeping the children at home, it is not something right to say that you are to keep the children at home because of the situation. They deserve to be at school. They deserve an education. The people that are saying his, they already have an education and position. It is not right to say something like that about kids”

 

Sadie Acevedo, Principal

“The priest suggested that if the parents are not willing to assist then they keep their students at home.”

 

Sadie Acevedo

What’s going through your mind because you seem uncomfortable stating that?

 

Sadie Acevedo

“Yes, well we don’t want to do that. Our students are our priority and we don’t want to keep them at home.”

 

Hipolito Novelo, News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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