March 12, 2010
Teacher denies sexual allegations

An elderly male teacher, accused of fondling a five-year-old student at a private primary school here, has denied the allegations brought against him.{{more}}

The teacher, who spent his last day on the job on Friday, March 5, 2010, in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT said, like most persons, he only found out about the allegations being levelled at him on that day, even though it is claimed he fondled the child on Friday, February 26, 2010. He was given a letter in January which stated that the school was unable to pay him, and as a result of this, his services will be terminated.

A local newspaper published an article entitled ‘Infant fondled’ last Friday, which disclosed, that a five-year-old child was reportedly sexually abused while attending classes at the school. The newspaper claimed that the teacher was “caught red-handed” touching the child inappropriately at a privately operated primary school, a few miles away from Kingstown.

It is said the child’s parents only found out about the allegation, after going to the school, to enquire if it was their child.

The man said he had just finished having his lunch when he was called into a meeting.

As he was entering the room where the meeting was to be held, the teacher said he saw the child’s parents leaving.

He recalled that the Cuban teacher who is responsible for making the allegation against him, and the woman who was officiating for the acting Headteacher who was in Canada, had remained in the room.

“It was then the Cuban teacher said that when she came into the classroom on February 26, she saw me with my hand around the child. She did not tell me I was fondling the child. She did not tell me I was touching the child inappropriately. What she said is that the child underwear was exposed,” recalled the teacher.

“I told her that was not the case,” said the male, who has taught in Trinidad for seven years, and was the principal of a New York City secondary school for 10 years, (1985-1995).

Asked what happened on that day, the teacher said two students were in the class standing on a desk, looking at a chart; an eight-year-old male student and the female student in question.

He acknowledged placing his hand around the little girl, to prevent her from falling as he looked at the chart with them.

“The little boy jumped off the desk and ran outside when he saw the Cuban teacher,” the man recounted.

“The Cuban teacher said she questioned the child and asked if I touched her, and the child said yes. The teacher claimed, that the child said she told me to stop, and I told her nothing would happen,” said the male teacher.

“It appears to me the child was prep to say those things,” said the man.

While he was at the school two police officers took him away to a nearby police station to give a statement.

“The situation is driving me crazy. I can’t sleep. It’s on my mind twenty four/seven,” said the male teacher.

He plans to take legal action against the Cuban teacher for starting the allegation.

When contacted on Wednesday, the acting Headteacher refused to confirm or deny that an incident had occured at the school.

He said that someone alerted him about the newspaper article on Monday of this week “but they didn’t mention who it was so I was wondering who is who.

“I can’t go any further into that…,” said the Headteacher, as he denied that any investigation was being carried by the school and by the police.