St John school parent decries ‘suspension without warning’ action

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BY BARNABAS MANEBONA.

ST John school is being questioned by parents over the school’s decision to suspend two students without warning over chewing betel nut.

A parent of one of the suspended children, speaking to Island Sun on condition of anonymity for fear of negative repercussions to his child, labels St John school’s action as ‘unprecedented, harsh and unfair’.

The parent believes that the two students should have been given a warning since it was their ‘first time to breach that school rule over betel nut chewing’ and ‘that rule is trivial and does not warrant such a harsh consequence’.

“The two students had been reported as chewing betel nut, which they did so but without using lime.

“And, many students had been seen chewing betel nut and smoking in their uniform and out of it, but have never received such harsh treatment by the school. Why should these two students receive different treatment?” the parent asks.

With examinations coming up next week, the parent said the suspension will affect his child.

Principal of St John School Mr Peter Misiga when responding to Island Sun on Wednesday at first was surprised why the parent chose his freedom of expression to go the media rather than going straight to the school to solve the matter.

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Misiga expressed going to the media will not solve his problem but only create a way for more problems.

The displeased Principal says the action taken by the parent is not showing good responsibility.

“Respect for the school uniform and school are some of the areas we stand on. It is part of learning to be good responsible people going into the future,” said Misiga.

“We do not stop chewing betel-nut, if students do it at home then it is acceptable being part of this country’s culture but when under the school hour is against the rules.

“Since the beginning of this year, we have announced the school rules leading to this present reminding students every now and then of actions that will be taken against anyone caught involved in such activities.”

He elaborated that the issue of students being ill disciplined nowadays in schools is at a high rate and parents too should be responsible in teaching their children at home to be responsible citizens.

For such, the School Principal is not comfortable and says he will be raising such attitudes by parents to the School Administration and Board.

Misiga strongly makes a call for the concerned parent to address them at the school being a reminder for other parents of the school when such matter occurs, as the situation will only be solved there.

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