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Parents ‘could strike’ over TN Tatem plan

The mother of a pupil forced out of a mould-plagued middle school may refuse to send her child to another school to finish the academic year.

The concerned parent warned yesterday that other parents and pupils could also stage a strike in protest at the emergency transfer of pupils from TN Tatem Middle School because of health fears.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said that she had not made up her mind on whether she would allow her daughter, an M3 pupil, to report to another school.

She added: “I doubt it.”

The woman said she had spoken to other TN Tatem parents who said their children would not go to the schools assigned to them.

She added: “A lot of people are saying they are not sending their children back to school.”

She told education officials: “You cannot tell parents where their children are going.

“You have not even consulted us, as parents, to see how we feel about this whole situation.

“You cannot put something like this out on the table without a plan.”

The woman was speaking after a meeting on Monday night at Bermuda College, attended by dozens of TN Tatem parents, set up to outline plans for the school.

It was organised after it was announced last Friday that the school would remain closed for the rest of the year.

The Warwick school was closed last Tuesday after a walkout by teachers and pupils over health fears.

The closure order was sparked by a letter from the Parent Teacher Student Association to education officials that highlighted “grave concerns about the health of the learning environment”.

Parents of M1 and M2 pupils were told at the meeting that their children would begin classes at either Dellwood Middle School, in Pembroke, Sandys Secondary Middle School, or the Whitney Institute Middle School, in Smith's, beginning today.

The meeting was closed to the media.

A meeting for M3 parents is scheduled for Monday.

The woman said she had already received a letter that said her daughter was to finish the year at the Whitney Institute in Smith's.

However, she said: “You're not going to tell me where my child is going.

“You have to consult with us parents. Give us a choice, give us an option.”

The woman said that she wanted to see the Government “do their job right”.

She added: “I would like for them to show these children that they care about their education.”

The woman said that she also wanted increased health and safety staff numbers so schools could be inspected more often.

She added that she was tired of problems at the school being treated as a political football.

The woman said: “It's time for all of them to come together and show these children that even though they are different parties, they can come together and help sort out this situation.”

Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, said on Monday that the meeting had gone “very well”.

But he admitted: “I would not say that all parents were pleased, but I think the main thing is that everyone understood where we are and why we are doing what we are doing.

“Of course, we anticipate that there will be some teething pains with this transition ... but I do believe that we will come out of this with a better system.”

Ongoing saga: TN Tatem Middle School (File photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes)

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Published April 17, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated April 17, 2019 at 8:01 am)

Parents ‘could strike’ over TN Tatem plan

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