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School CP - September 1999

Corpun file 4298


Trinidad Express, Port of Spain, 30 September 1999

'Soft heart' causes dad to forgive teacher

By Darryl Heeralal
South Bureau

Winston Dhanook hugs his son Michael who was beaten with a belt on Friday.

WINSTON DHANOOK has forgiven a teacher for beating his ten-year-old son Michael with a leather belt.

Michael told his dad he was beaten with the belt on Friday when he said he could not understand the handwriting of a classmate.

Michael was supposed to have corrected his classmate's work during a class exercise at the Montrose Vedic School, located next to Saith Park, Chaguanas.

"He promised nothing like that would happen again," Dhanook said.

"He was very apologetic.

"The teacher promised to stop beating completely."

The promise to "stop beating" was made during a meeting with Dhanook, the accused teacher, school principal Saraswatti Dipnarine and an official from the Ministry of Education.

In return, Dhanook promised he would not take further police action and would refrain from any legal action against the teacher or the school.

Dhanook said other parents also complained to him about beatings.

"At least two other parents tell me that this teacher beat their children.

"But I will forgive him.

"I have a soft heart," Dhanook said.

Michael who first said he was afraid to go back to school also said that the teacher should be forgiven.

Asked if it happens again what his reaction would be Dhanook replied, "Well then, I will do something.

"The school, police and Ministry have all the information."

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