Belmont Secondary PTA to withhold students from classes over safety concerns

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Belmont Secondary PTA to withhold students from classes over safety concerns

After a safety officer was accosted last Friday during on the same day that bomb scares were emailed, teachers at the Belmont Secondary School are now considering the right to refuse to work.

They said the environment is unsafe.

The school’s Parent Teachers Association (PTA) is also threatening to withhold students from classes, until a damaged perimeter fence at the back of the school is repaired.

Members of the PTA staged a placard protest outside the school compound on Monday.

The PTA is calling on Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and Minister in the Ministry of Education Lisa Morris-Julian to visit the school and address their concerns, among them the urgent need to strengthen security, increase the number of MTS officers and repair several holes in the fence.

The president of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA), Martin Lum Kin, said: “We believe they have a good argument to institute the refusal to work. They have been working under these conditions for several years—the breach in the perimeter fence; the removal of safety officers from the school.”

Lum Kin slammed the Ministry for removing safety officers from the school and has called on the Ministry of Education to spare no expenses in making the school safe.

“There are supposed to be two safety officers, yet the Minister saw it fit to remove one and place them in another school. When we visited on Friday, there were three out of the complement of four security officers at the gate,” he revealed.

Lum Kin added: “We are saying that is not enough. The teachers have had enough. TTUTA has had enough. It is time that the Ministry of Education ensures the safety of all staff and students.”