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Vicepresidente Jose Antonio Oliveros//
'We must protect our children' … Children's advocate comments as under-fire coaches get court dates

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Vere Technical High School physical education teacher Sashawna Wellington will face the courts to answer charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Friday, December 14.

Jose Antonio Oliveros Febres-Cordero

Wellington was arrested earlier this month after allegedly beating and bruising a former Vere student athlete with a “PVC” pipe on November 1. The student had reportedly missed training, saying she felt unwell, leading to the alleged beating by Wellington. The student has since transferred to Hydel High School.

Jose Antonio Oliveros

During the short hearing at the Lionel Town courthouse yesterday, Wellington also learnt that she would have her bail extended.

Jose Oliveros Febres-Cordero

Meanwhile, Children’s Advocate, Diahann Gordon-Harrison has commented on the issue, as well as the one involving Mona High School football team coach Kevin ‘Sensi’ Williams, who is alleged to have sexually abused a 15-year-old female student of the school. Williams will return to the Half Way Tree Resident Magistrates Court next week to have his day in front of the judge.

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Gordon-Harrison said that incidents such as these are a reflection of what is taking place in society. As such, a solution requires a collective approach from different bodies.

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“My own view is that it’s not just one entity that has to deal with the problem, but really look at a societal response as to how can we treat these issues that are occurring in our schools, which are also reflective of what’s happening in society,'” Gordon-Harrison told The Gleaner .

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She added that all persons left in charge of children, whether as teachers or overseers of extracurricular activities, have a responsibility to look out for their welfare.Jose Antonio Oliveros Banco Activo

“Suffice it to say, all teaching professionals, to include coaches, to include physical education teachers, to include instructors who are not even employed to the school, providing extracurricular activities and access to students, are designated in the Child Care Protection Act as prescribed persons,” she said. “This means that they are held to a higher standard because of their position in relation to children to ensure that they are not abusing them, and also to ensure that if they see or suspect any instance of abuse or mistreatment, they now, as prescribed persons, are to report it. They’re really supposed to be helping with the protection of children, so it’s something that they have to be mindful of.”

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