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May 17, 2022

An Emotional Testimony from a Distraught Primary School Teacher Goes Viral

It was the shot that was heard across the education sector, an emotional teacher suffering a breakdown on social media as she shared her story of alleged victimization at St. Luke Methodist School. For fourteen minutes, a tearful primary school teacher whose Facebook handle is Avella Teresita, detailed her experience about the day-to-day challenges she is made to face by her administrators. It’s a black eye for the school, as well as a wakeup call for other teachers who are going through similar ordeals at their respective institutions.  We begin our newscast this evening with a story that has gripped many. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Across the education system, teachers have taught their students about the dangers of bullying. Intimidating a weaker person often leads to undesirable consequences, including emotional and mental breakdowns and even suicide ideation. So when a primary school teacher came forward on Monday evening with a social media post painfully describing an ordeal that appears to be a case of victimization, it had the rapt attention of many.


Joanna Ysaguirre, Teacher, St. Luke Methodist School

“I’m tired and I noh know how much I could tek anymore dealing with these people here and their vindictiveness. Soh, you know yoh goh da school with yoh mind made up that da yoh job, yoh do your best and I’ve always been that type of teacher.  I neva find myself to be wahn teacher weh noh wahn do ih job or have problems doing her job or noh di do it to di best ah ih ability cause that da noh me.”


When Joanna Ysaguirre took to Facebook Live last night, followers on the popular social media platform were not prepared for the anguish that educator would share about the challenges of her profession, made all the more difficult by the administration at St. Luke Methodist School.  In her post, Ysaguirre discusses, among other issues, being called into the principal’s office about a signed letter from an attorney with respect to the use of facilities at the school during the pandemic.


Joanna Ysaguirre

“She started to talk about the letter and me sign the letter from the lawyer and the lawyer mih wrong and how me ah go tell the lawyer wah blatant lie that we had to call the office fi use bathroom but that da noh blatant lie, dah mi di truth, we mi have to call di office, I was told that we haffi call office fi use bathroom during the COVID time and that oh, and fu we lawyer, mek wahn mistake.”


According to the teacher, whose post has received as many as sixty-eight thousand views and a thousand comments overnight, she consulted with an attorney because she genuinely felt that a decision to subject her to the classroom during her lunch break impinged on her personal time.


Joanna Ysaguirre

“I signed on to the letter of getting that lawyer, yes I did because I felt that my rights was infringed upon when people vote fu me fi seh I haftu stay eena wahn classroom during lunchtime and da my lunchtime get cut half an hour and that I can’t leave the compound at no time during lunchtime and I just felt that that mi my right fu mi have my one hour lunch and where and how I wanted my one hour lunch.  I just felt that da my right and so I actually, yes I got the lawyer.”


We were unable to speak with the school manager and the principal, however, Senator Moses Benguche, who is the chair of the board for Methodist schools across the country, granted News Five an interview after speaking with the distraught teacher.


Senator Moses Benguche

Senator Moses Benguche, Chair, Board of Methodist Schools

“I’m happy that I did not only reach out to Mrs. Ysaguirre but also the administrators of the school, what we would call the local manager and the principal herself. So I am happy that I had that opportunity from where I sit to have been able to do so and to just be able to garner and ascertain from, as I said, both sides of the spectrum as to exactly what transpired, what is taking place at St. Luke.”


Admittedly, the video is emotionally charged.  The viral nature of the shares it has received has certainly caught the attention of the management and, according to Bishop Benguche, everything will be done to provide support for Ysaguirre and remedy the situation.


Senator Moses Benguche

“I must say a very emotional video that comes from an individual and there are different ways, I suppose, in which an individual speaks and I supposed that would have been one of them.  I am certain that as a management and from where I sit, I want to be able to share with the general public that we do try to listen and as much as is possible we try to get all sides of the story, as we speak to general matters of this nature and this one was no different.  But I must agree that it was an emotional video that no doubt has captured

the management’s attention.”


Isani Cayetano for News Five.

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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