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Mob justice not the way

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Wednesday’s attack on a man suspected of attempting to lure a six-year-old-girl away from her friends in Oropoune Gardens, Piarco, is, unfortunately, a sign of the troubled times which T&T is facing. The incident is one of a few in recent months in which residents executing civilian arrests have sought to extract their own form of punishment on the perpetrators before law enforcement officers take over the process.

But as the police and other advocates continue to point out, it is illegal to carry out such acts. And in this case, the Oropune Gardens residents who carried out the act may now well find themselves on the wrong end of the law should the accused man either end up being severely maimed or not survive their beating.

Truth be told, this is a sign of John Public’s loss of confidence in law enforcement and the Judiciary. Indeed, it is because of the overall fear that criminals will walk free eventually that members of the public undertake such acts—they see it as immediate retribution to counter a justice system they see as unbalanced at the moment. However, this newspaper is now urging all citizens to exercise better judgement in such matters and to ultimately let the law take its proper course.

Lay out corporal punishment law

The Ministry of Education has yet another serious matter on its hands following a protest by parents at the Tranquillity Government Primary School who are calling for the removal of a teacher there. According to the parents’ complaints, the teacher is accused of assaulting a nine-year-old student who apparently reacted after the teacher attempted to whip him for something he had done in class.

While we are not attempting to make a case out for either side, corporal punishment remains illegal in schools. This case also comes on the heels of another recent incident in which a teacher is also accused of administering licks.

In both instances, the ministry is said to be investigating the matter. However, what remains absolutely clear is that the practice being meted out by the teachers is outlawed in all schools. So why then is it still occurring? Is it because it is not detailed in the teaching code of conduct? Is there some lack of clarity on the matter? If so, then it is time for the Ministry of Education to clearly detail a policy on corporal punishment.

Late but still sweet

Congratulations must go out to T&T men’s 4x100 metres relay team—Keston Bledman, Richard Thompson, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Aaron Armstrong—on what will be the belated award of the gold medal for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Their reward will soon be coming after Jamaican Nesta Carter lost his doping appeal against the IOC Disciplinary Panel. To them and the T&T fans, while late, it will still rich reward for their efforts of that period.


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