The man, 29 years old and engaged to be married, was described as a “creepy freaky weirdo” who not only scared the girls by the way he looked at them but posted half-nude photos of himself on Facebook.
Yesterday his half-naked photo with him dressed in a blue jersey appeared on Facebook. He was also accused of sending e-mails to students with inappropriate messages. Reports indicate there was no physical contact with the girls.
The mother of one of the students intercepted a nude photo of the teacher in her daughter’s computer and made a report to the Belmont police, who according to reports questioned him but released him.
On Tuesday afternoon, following growing complaints, the teacher was called to a meeting by Anglican Coadjutor Bishop, Claude Berkley, chairman of the board of the school, Bishop Calvin Bess, and school principal, Patsy-Ann Rudder and he was asked to resign with immediate effect. He did so.
Yesterday, a second meeting was held with the heads of associations including former students connected to the school and a letter to parents was prepared and sent out with details of the investigations that were carried out into the complaints of students and the action taken.
The letter stated that the principal had discovered “a situation involving a student and teacher” on October 6.
“The situation involved Internet abuse off the school’s compound. There was no physical contact. Our investigations revealed that the Internet relationship had developed over the past two weeks,” the letter advised parents.
On discovery of the relationship, Rudder contacted the relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Education, the police and the parents of the student. All parties were informed and the necessary reports submitted, parents were told.
“The police continue to investigate the matter with the full cooperation of the school.
“In consideration of the welfare of our student, counselling was provided with her parents being an active part of the entire process,” the letter continued.
Counselling was also offered to all students who may have been affected by the incident.
Furthermore, following a meeting with the executive of the school board the teacher resigned.
“We also advise, that following a meeting with the chairman of the board (Coadjutor Bishop Right Reverend Claude Berkley), Bishop (Calvin) Bess and the principal, (Patsy-Ann Rudder), the teacher tendered his resignation to the Teaching Service Commission of Trinidad and Tobago with immediate effect. The school is committed to acting swiftly and decisively in all instances of breaches of its policies.”
Officers of the Port-of-Spain CID and the police Cyber Crime Unit are expected to visit the school on Monday to interview several students in the presence of parents and school officials.
The matter was also reported to the Ministry of Education which is conducting its own investigation. Minister of Education Dr Tim Gopeesingh said he would not comment until all the facts were known. It is understood however that the minister has received a report from Chief Education Officer, Sharon Mangroo.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday described the incident as “distressing”.
“I am sure that the minister is taking the appropriate approach in the circumstances but it is most distressing. Anytime a child is involved in acts like this, it is very distressing to all of us.
“I would await a report from him. I know that he would investigate the matter and make sure that justice is done,” she told reporters after a function at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of- Spain yesterday.
Bishop Anstey is an Anglican denominational school which is regarded as a prestige school, producing many leading professional women.
In recent years however, it has experienced a slide in performance and this year achieved only minimal success in scholarships.