Jamaicans divided on teacher taped threatening Pembroke Hall student

Thousands across the country awoke to a troubling video captured in a Pembroke Hall High class on Thursday afternoon, where a teacher is seen threatening a student after demanding he leaves her class.

The video, which has been making the rounds on social media, has left Jamaicans divided between empathy and outrage as the heated exchange comes to a head – with a threat made by the teacher towards the student.

“So weh yah shout afta me fah? Me look like yuh mada?” the teacher began, reminding the student of their obvious age difference.

See the video in full below:

“Calm dung ‘cause him cyah do nutten. Mi will kill yuh in yah, y’hear? Mi nuh ramp wid pickney,” she added; a line which has become the source of contention.

Contentious points-of-view

Depending on who you ask, the video means something totally different for Jamaicans in the court of social media.

For some, the heated exchange was considered grossly unprofessional, inappropriate and disturbing. Jamaicans siding on the prosecution (and outrage) admonished the teacher for the ease at which her threats were lobbed.

“No matter what was said to her, she still had no reason to behave and say the things she was saying in the video, if she felt truly disrespected by the student she should’ve went to the principal, this is just unprofessional and disgraceful,” Twitter user @Ceemellaaa intimated.

The Ken Hill Drive-based Pembroke Hall High School in St. Andrew (Photo: Gwenyth Harold-Davidson)

“Ok… so, this is a Jamaican teacher. When teachers go to foreign countries a suh [them] gwaan? So, if you have teachers acting like this then how do we expect children to act?” blogger Kamla Forbes argued on Facebook.

In the teacher’s defence, some made mention of the convenient nature of the video, which hints at the possibility that the teacher was being goaded into a corner and her reaction recorded.

To these Jamaicans, for an undervalued profession where the island’s educators are de-motivated, underpaid and overworked, no one can really say for sure whether or not the exchange wasn’t an isolated incident of calculated microaggression which culminated in the teacher snapping.

“Have anyone ever stop to ask what happened that it got the far? It’s a [one-sided] video u don’t know what the children said to the teacher. [Mind] u, she should not be attacking like this, but don’t forget that she is human too okay n stop jumping the lady,” @jermianwalters1 tweeted.

“[A]nyone ever think about what happened before the video started? U know how many times I have seen [students] jump teachers n adults n all children do is laugh,” he argued further.

Adding her two cents, another Twitter user posited, “If we can be honest with ourselves, teachers go through a lot. This vid just highlights what happens when a teacher has had enough.”

“We don’t know if this child gave her problems b4. We don’t know if this class is a “problem” class. We don’t know her, let’s not be quick to cancel,” @Mello_Mell27 responded.

Ministry of Education guidelines

Headquarters of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (Photo: JIS)

A 2009 Ministry of Education manual on ‘power and authority in the classroom’ states, “While generally, a healthy teacher/student relationship is important, it becomes even more critical during teaching; classroom management and teaching practices are directly correlated with student behaviour.”

“The student who is enjoying a class will not disrupt it.”

— Ministry of Education, Youth and Information

“The student who is enjoying a class will not disrupt it. As teacher, you have the authority to shape a learning experience that will be memorable and rewarding for students. Using child-centred approaches is one way to achieve more student engagement. It entails making the child the centre of your teaching both in how you teach and the organization of your classroom. Importantly, this approach ensures students get to contribute and shape their learning,” The Ministry of Education added.

The administration of the Pembroke Hall High has launched what it calls a high-level probe into yesterday’s incident between the teacher and student.

Well BUZZ fam, what do you think about the video? Share your thoughts in the comments section.