Cyprus Mail

Mother says teacher told student he was ‘short and homosexual’

As accusations about the competence of school teachers continue to be voiced, a mother from Limassol on Tuesday said a teacher had called a student “short and homosexual” in front of the whole class.

Speaking on Sigma’s lunchtime news programme, Yiota Panayiotou said her 14-year-old son was a consistently good student but had to deal with teachers who made inappropriate comments.

She said the teacher often and repeatedly tells students to “shut up” however when the mother went to discuss the matter with her, the response she got was “I came from the capital and you lot in Limassol are used to the carnival and we can’t communicate.”

Citing several examples in her call to the show, Panayiotou spoke about a 14-year-old girl who suffers from anxiety and tends to throw up during exam time due to stress. She said on one occasion, when the young girl threw up, a female teacher said to her “I’m willing to baptise it for you,” suggesting the teen was pregnant.

Although only on air for around 10 minutes, Panayiotou had a plethora of examples to give about teachers’ inappropriate behaviour, saying that a teacher told a boy who sits next to her son that “it’s not enough that you’re short, you’re also homosexual.”

The chairman of secondary school teachers’ union Oelmek, Costas Hadjisavvas, said such matters should be reported to the school principal but Panayiotou claims there she was met with yet more rude behaviour.

She had gone to the school principal to report the incidents and after standing outside the office for 15 minutes and overhearing the principal speaking about desserts – presumably for a party – she did not accept to see Panayiotou.

According to the mother’s account, the principal told her “I’ll see whomever I want in my office,” but was reassured by her deputies that the matter would be looked into.

Panayiotou said she would report the matter to the ministry of education.

Such accusations have come to light after Education Minister Costas Hambiaouris admitted that it is well known there are teachers in schools who have, as he put it “psychological problems.

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