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Two Toco students suspended after fight

Friday, March 21 2014

TWO female students from Toco Secondary School have been suspended for fighting, days after ten female students from Mucurapo West Secondary School were also suspended for fighting.

This was confirmed yesterday by Education Ministry officials who added the suspended students are being counselled by Student Support Services officials. A video of the two Toco students went viral on social media yesterday. However, it was not as viewed as the video of the girls fighting from Mucurapo.

The Mucurapo fight was filmed by a student using a camera phone, and uploaded to the popular video-sharing website Youtube. The video was then circulated around social media sites.

This video showed scores of students, crowded around two girls struggling with each other in a ditch. The fight escalated as other girls joined the fracas.

Harrilal Seecharan, Chief Education Officer (CEO) with the Ministry said, “The Ministry has a clear policy with indiscipline in schools. The Mucurapo case is now a police investigation.”

Seecharan said all the suspended students have to be counselled and all secondary schools in the country now have guidance officers.

Seecharan expressed concern over violence in the nation’s schools and added that the Ministry is working on initiatives to make schools safer. He said the Ministry is also looking into the fighting incident at Toco Secondary.

The mother of a 13-year-old student who was involved in the Mucurapo fight, yesterday told Newsday her child was a victim of bullying since she entered the school two years ago. The woman said she made several complaints to both school officials and St James police but no action was taken. Davanand Sinanan, President of the TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) states violence in school between female students is a common occurrence and the fighting happens regularly between both male and female students.

“Girls fighting is nothing new. There is no distinction between the sexes. Violence is violence,” Sinanan said.

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