We have business operations assistants who are in contract positions.Part of the challenge we have experienced…is that whole recruitment filling of vacancies of vacancies process.” “There are positions on the establishment, positions that we have available that sometimes takes an inordinate amount of time to fill.
“Children have access and more exposure to a lot of sexual activities and pornography.
Even via the cellphones that we casually hand a three-year-old or four-year-old to play with and use and you click a button…and you see the porn.
“In instances where we can't determine that we can't wait 24 hours, those teachers are asked to report to the district so we take them out immediately from the system.
There is a clearly defined disciplinary process and that doesn't prevent or exclude if it's a criminal matter that the police do their own investigation and they go through the process.” Responding to a question from Committee Chairman Nyan Gadsby-Dolly on the legislative capacity to protect children from abuse, particularly where the Romeo Clause is concerned, Guidance Officer II Darlene Smith indicated that sexual experimentation and curiosity is an issue school officials are dealing with from as early as infant classes.
Acknowledging the need for increased detection of sexual crimes against children within schools, Chief Education Officer noted that there has been increased reporting following a mandate set out by the Education Ministry.
He said however, that in order to treat all cases as priority and provide accurate data on the number of cases of child sexual abuse, some staffing issues need to be addressed.
The Chief Education Officer explained that any incident considered misconduct within schools, which do not necessarily involve teacher/student relations are subject to the same procedure.
Where sexual misconduct is concerned, if it is believed that a student’s safety may be compromised, through an arrangement between the Ministry and the TSC a report is sent in the space of 24 hours which may result in a cease-reporting issue from the Commission, pending its determination.
This was revealed during a meeting of the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights, Equality and Diversity, as the Committee sought to examine the systems in place to protect children from abuse.
Officials from the Education Ministry, the Police Service, the Children's Authority and the Child Welfare League appeared before the Committee.
“In terms of whether we need to direct people in the various fields of study, I think it’s twofold.