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Feb 8, 2023

B.N.T.U. Says Legal Process Must Be Followed in Allegations Against Canaan High School Teacher

President of the Belize Teachers Union, Elena Smith, during a press conference on Tuesday responded to the allegations being made at Canaan High School against one of its teachers. The allegation is that the teacher made unsolicited advances towards one of his female students through text messages. Smith took the opportunity to make the B.N.T.U.’s position clear, that they condemn this kind of behavior by teachers. On the other hand, she noted that there is a legal process that must be followed before a teacher facing such an allegation is removed from the classroom. Last night we showed you a portion of her response. Here is more from her comments on the situation.


Elena Smith

Elena Smith, President, B.N.T.U.

“We have to pay attention to the process in dealing with these matters. So, the education rules itself provides a manner in which these matters are dealt with. So, it is not just that the school will send these teachers home, say go this is the allegation, go home. Because, a lot of times when these procedure, just like a court, if you miss a step in a procedure a criminal can get off because of technicality. It is the same thing with us. You have to follow certain procedures. They have to ensure that there is an investigation. A lot of things has to happen. So, while as a parent you may want that teacher to be put out right away because of the undue stress on the child, the school has to follow those procedures, so that whatever recommendation the board makes to the ministry and not the ministry itself but to the Teaching Services Commission, it has to be one that has come about after following that procedure That is the first thing. In terms of our students, of course we feel for them. Those are our students as well.”

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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