Abuse of powers by teachers in our schools

DEAR EDITOR, schools are not dealing with teachers who are abusing many of our children who are under their care when they are in school. One of the schools in Honiara has certain teachers who abuses students in their classes by making them standing in front of the whole class and razor their hair as a form of discipline. Some of these students are children young under 10 years old. One expects that a school that is regarded as a Christian faith based school will do that. But this is happening and it is shocking.

It is more heartening, when the Head Master of that particular school did not address it although it was brought before him a couple of times. In the next issue on “teacher abuse of power in schools”, it will name the school that is mentioned in here if relevant authorities within that particular school did nothing.

In this case, this article will pay more attention to Teacher: abuse of power in classroom. Abuse of power by teachers in our schools are increasing to a level where we as parents and guidance know about it, but we are weak in addressing it because we think that teachers are disciplining our children. It is critical for us to know the difference between teacher’s abuse of power over our children and the relevant disciplinary action they take when they deal with our children.

As parents and guidance what we want to see is schools that offers our children safe learning environment that has effective and strong administration that can deal with issues and situations that may arise in their schools in an immediate and efficient manner. One of the overall means is to look at school practices against abuse by teachers in the classroom and either “writing or adjusting bullying policies to explicitly address the conduct of teachers.

If Teacher abuse is a pattern of conduct, this threatens, harms, humiliates, brings fear in or causes student’s significant emotional stress that can strip of their confidence in exceling in school.

Many of our children continue to experience abuse of power by their teachers, by making them standing in front of the whole class to shame them for very minor things. They cut student’s hair by making them standing in front of the class and just imagine how these students feel if they are under the age of 10. Teachers continue to whip their students as well as pull their ears. When teachers call students out in front of the class, it suggests that the teacher is trying to publicly shame them so this is not discipline. Teachers can also abuse children or students because student’s abilities so they may abuse or bully these students to help themselves feel good and more equal. Another thing is, teachers who are showing signs of burnout may also be at risk to be abusive of their power towards students within their school.

These are unacceptable behaviors and teachers must stop. The right thing to do is to send the student home so that parents can deal with them.

There are many other ways for a teacher to control children without embarrassing them and lowering self-confidence. For those teachers that continue to act this way, they should know that they are placing the reputation of their school at risk.

Teachers often justify their abusive actions in the classroom, giving a reason why they think it is appropriate behavior. Students often also see abusive behavior from teacher to student as just a part of a school day, causing them to normalize the behavior.

As parents and guidance, we much hold teachers accountable for anything that they do to our children that is unacceptable. There is need to observe what is happening in the school environment where our kids are. We must have the tendency to list to our children and to ask them about what is happening in their schools and about the kinds of teachers they have and the manner in which they are treating the children.

There are many schools that have empty policies regarding teacher’s conduct and that reflects schools without code of ethics. What schools need are policies that are focus on procedures to address complaints effectively about teachers who may have been abusive or seems to be abusive to children in their class.

Supervision is a critical factor for teachers and what they are doing within the classroom and how they interact with students.

Concerning teachers, they should know that, it is crucial for children to receive the best teaching. Many students see teachers as mentors, and when a teacher brings one of them down, it can hurt the student’s feelings and education terribly.

There are ways that teachers can deal students appropriately.   What teachers should have done or do is get in touch with the parents and guidance to deal with their own child rather than them dealing with the child.

In conclusion, without strong administration support, or an efficient administration team, teachers may be at risk to abuse their students. “Since the principal or Head Master is responsible for the overall tone of the school, any issues related to their performance will certainly impact teachers and, in turn, students.”

Today the Ministry of Education has a grave issue on its hands. For a very long time, abusive action by teachers has become a remote issue in many of our schools. Schools and administration are not effective in discussing and addressing appropriate and inappropriate teacher behavior, especially in the context of disciplining students”. At the same time, a lot of policies may exist in our school, however they have no protection and safety measures for our children, and therefore this has made many of our schools very dangerous for our children.


Ella Kauhue


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