It was high drama at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Monday as the parents, a family friend and a teacher involved in the St Agnes Primary School attack appeared in court.
Relatives and friends of all the parties flocked the courtroom and compound. Outside the court compound, teachers and members of the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) protested while demanding that justice be served.
During the proceedings, acting Chief Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus was forced on several occasions to warn rowdy persons in the courtroom to be quiet as they were disturbing the proceedings.
The first charge read that on January 15 at the St Agnes Primary School, Sherwin Dalrymple (a parent) provoked Tiffani Hinds (a teacher) with intent to insult, annoy and assault her.
It was further alleged that Candace Peters (a family friend) unlawfully and maliciously damaged Hinds’ dress valued $6500. Another charge stated that Soyini Gardner (Dalrymple’s wife) unlawfully assaulted Hinds and further damaged the teacher’s acrylic denture valued at $12,000.
Hinds, on the other hand, was charged for assaulting Gardner. Magistrate Isaacs-Marcus granted bail in the sum of $50,000 for Gardner, $20,000 for Hinds, $20,000 for Dalrymple and $20,000 for Candace Peters.
As the proceedings ended, Hinds was seen sobbing uncontrollably which infuriated her fellow teachers and supporters were who inside the court. Police officers had to be called in to restore order.
As a result, Hinds’ angry supporters blocked Dalrymple, his wife and family friend from exiting the courtyard. They were housed in the police waiting area until the situation calmed.
The protest was organised by the GTU and saw educators decked in black and white, with the aim of sending a message about the security risks of the profession.
It was alleged that Dalrymple confronted the teacher at the school about an incident between his son and another student. During the confrontation, Dalrymple allegedly told the teacher, “You ain’t fit to be a teacher, you should be a market vendor”.
Hinds reportedly responded and said “Like ya woman” which caused Gardner to become annoyed. This led to the fight and Peters, who had accompanied the couple, allegedly joined in and they ripped off the teacher’s dress.
Dalrymple allegedly kicked and punched Hinds during the fight. The case will continue on February 10, 2020. This is the second teacher to be assaulted by parents at their place of work.
In November 2019, a parent assaulted a teacher at the Winfer Gardens Primary School due to a misunderstanding with her child. Charges stemming from that incident are yet to be laid.