Sunday 8 December, 2019

Probe in Calabar issue intensifies as teacher makes more claims

The teacher who said he was assaulted by two members from the Calabar High School track team has also come out accusing a coach at the institution of having helped to fuel the boys’ alleged behaviour, based on utterances the coach is reported to have made in the lead-up to the attack.

The teacher Sanjaye Shaw, told Loop News that the coach made the utterances during a conversation with him in the presence of a student.

The teacher claims the coach also spoke to him in a disrespectful manner and described him as a ‘dumb ass’.

“Where did they get this dumb ass teacher, were the words of the coach to me,” said the teacher.

The teacher said this was because he had made a query about the use of some of the cots that were normally in the possession of the track team, for students from his physics department who were also on a camp at the institution.

The teacher said it was the coach who told members of the track team to retrieve all cots that students from the physics department were using, and it was as a result of the instructions why members of the track team went to the department where he and his students were staying, where the alleged physical confrontation took place

The teacher made the claims at a press conference at the Fitz Henley Centre in Kingston on Friday where he accused two student-athletes Christopher Taylor and Dejour Russell of assaulting him.

The teacher also addressed questions that were raised about the time that he chose to report such a matter with the Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships around the corner.

“It was never my intention to take this matter so far,” said the teacher who claimed from the incident happened in December he has been calling on school officials to address the matter but they all kept dragging their feet.

"What took the administration so long to act if I didn’t continue to press and press the issue nothing would have been done,” said the teacher who said he has been calling for action from in December.

On Friday when he gave an account of the reported attack, the educator said he was also warned before the incident by a star athlete from the school that his classes would not be allowed to continue, as it should be understood that “a tracks man” run the school.

The school has acknowledged reports of an incident last December involving the track team and the particular teacher, which was said to have been thought settled earlier this month after disciplinary measures were supposed taken against two of the athletes, who were said to have been suspended from school.

The teacher, however, claimed that one of the students was reportedly allowed to continue to train at the institution during the period of suspension, and one of the alleged lead perpetrators of the attack on the teacher participated in a major school-age track meet on behalf of the school while being also ‘suspended’.

The teacher said those factors have led him to this point where he is now calling for a real suspension of the alleged lead perpetrators, including non-participation by them in the upcoming Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships, for which Calabar is the long-running defending boys’ champion.

At the press conference on Friday, he gave an account of what he claimed took place.

Reports are that the physics teacher and students from his department were at a camp on the school grounds.

The members of the track team were engaged in a separate camp on the school compound, the teacher said.

While there, the physics teacher, said he enquired about some beds for students from his department, but was told by a member of the coaching staff that the beds were sponsored for the track team, and were not available for use by other students at the school.

The teacher said a member of the coaching staff then asked him if he was an ass, apparently for having asked about the possible use of the beds by physics students.

The teacher said the request was made of the track team because only 10 beds were in the possession of the 63 boys who were part of the physics department camp, and it would not have reflected positively for students to be sleeping on the floor.

He claimed that the member of the coaching staff went further, and instructed members of the track team to go and collect the limited beds that were in the possession of members of the physics department.

Shaw claimed that amid the exchange, some members of the track team were seen using up to four beds stacked on each other.

Following the conversations with the member of the coaching staff, the teacher said he left and went back to the room where members of the physics department were staying.

The teacher said as he entered the room, he noticed a large group of athletes rushing into the room.

The teacher said he was approached by one member of the track team, and pointedly told that it was the track members who ran the school.

The teacher said when he saw members of the track team rushing into the room, he took out his phone and started to record the incident.

He said members of the track team, led by their captain, Christopher Taylor, behaved boisterously in the physics lab.

The teacher claimed that one student from the group knocked the phone out of his hand, and when he attempted to pick up the instrument, the student stepped on the phone, injuring his hand.

"Christopher Taylor then proceeded to drape mi up and let me know that it's 'track man' run the school," said Shaw.

He said the police were called, and they responded on the same evening of December 15.

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