Cyprus Mail

Teachers consider measures over ‘vilification’

Primary education teachers’ union Poed threatened with measures on Friday over a report that put the spotlight on a teacher currently under investigation in connection with the death of a 10-year-old boy last week after he had an accident in school.

The union also accused the education minister of seeking to mislead and cover up his ministry’s responsibility in the affair.

“This unacceptable action constitutes an effort to influence the impartial and objective disciplinary procedure,” the union said of a report in Phileleftheros.

It added that it will convene a meeting to decide on the necessary measures.

The offending report claimed that the teacher in question had priors and had been transferred four times in six years. The reason where complaints from parents that the teacher was indifferent as regards his duties.

Poed demanded a probe by the ministry into who had access to its members’ files and who had leaked the information.

“The organization cannot tolerate a colleague being convicted in advance on the basis of rumours,” it said.

Education Minister Costas Hambiaouris ordered the disciplinary procedure against the teacher after a probe into the circumstances of the accident. He did not specify the exact reasons.

The union also denied suggestions in the same Phileleftheros report that it had tried to influence the investigation. Poed said it was planning to seek legal recourse for slander.

The paper said Poed members had shown up at the school during the probe into the accident and had refused to leave and not contact with any of the teachers who were giving their statements.

When he was informed, the minister notified the police and asked them to arrest them, the paper said.

Poed said it was a desperate effort by the minister to divert attention from the substance of the problem which was of health and safety in schools and avoid assuming his responsibility.


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