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Mae’s agree to apologise to Indigenous student


first_imgAfter days of public outrage over the treatment of a pupil, who was shamed after he turned up to school in Indigenous attire for Culture Day, Mae’s administration has agreed to apologise to the nine-year-old boy.This was during a meeting held on Monday afternoon at the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) Head Office, which saw APA Executive Director Jean La Rose; GIS Specialist & Forest Policy Officer Michael Mc Garrell; Communications & Visibility Officer Nicholas Peters; Mae’s Schools Director Stacey French and Administrator Lucinda Mc Curdy; and the boy’s parents, Jason Chacon and Karen Small, as well as other stakeholders sitting down to discuss the incident.Karen Small recounts the incident during a meeting with representatives from the APA and Mae’s SchoolsAccording to a statement from the APA, French agreed to apologise to the boy and his parents, but made no commitments on a public apology.“After some back and forth on the matter, and with the APA stressing on what culture really means to Indigenous peoples in Guyana, the school’s director agreed that she would apologise to the young man on the turn the incident took and the trauma that he experienced shortly after,” the missive from the APA detailed.However, the Association pointed out that a public apology was necessary, since not only the boy and his family but the Indigenous people were hurt by this incident, which has been denounced across the country.Monday’s meeting, which was organised by the APA, was the first time the boy’s parents had come face to face with the school’s administration since the incident and Small, the mother of the child, was able to recount directly to the school’s top administration how the incident took place and to express her concerns about its impact on the nine-year-old. She also took the opportunity to highlight some inaccuracies contained in a statement released by the school on the incident.Meanwhile, the school‘s representative also said that she too was not happy about inaccurate media reporting that the child was not allowed to enter the school. However, the APA pointed out that the issue was bigger than whether the child was allowed entry or not, it was a matter much larger that deemed a people’s culture as “inappropriate” which in turn resulted in the child feeling that he should dislike his culture after being made to feel uncomfortable in his ethnic dress.Moreover, the organisation posited that the incident should be used both as a teaching and learning opportunity for the students and faculty of the school. To this end, the APA offered to help the school in sensitising students and others on larger issues affecting Indigenous peoples and their role in society.The school has agreed to host a session in collaboration with the Association to inform students and faculty of Indigenous culture and overcoming the negative stereotypes which continue to exist.Nevertheless, the APA sees the outcome of the meeting as a step in the right direction towards not only resolving this particular incident, but also addressing cultural prejudices that may persist today.Apart from this meeting, the school’s officials also met with representatives from the Ministries of Education, Social Cohesion, and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs on Monday.last_img read more