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10.05.2006 General News

Drama in court

Listen to article Tema schools close down for teachers to support colleague facing the law for battering a pupil

Schools in Tema closed down yesterday to allow teachers to support a colleague in court for allegedly damaging the right eye of a student during caning.
Alice William, a Social Studies teacher of Sakumono Complex School pleaded not guilty to causing harm to Miss Georgina Archer, a 12-year-old Junior Secondary School (JSS) student.

She was granted 100 million cedis bail by Tema Circuit Court "A" to re-appear on June 8.

The court was full of teachers wearing red bands around their hands and necks in solidarity with their pregnant colleague.

A team of police personnel were brought in to control the teachers who sang solidarity songs when the Tema District Director of Education was leaving the court premises after the adjournment.

When the case was called, the Presiding Judge Mr. Charles Asiedu said he could not hear it because of the presence of the teaming teachers could disturb court proceedings. Earlier, Mr. Jonathan Amponsah Wutoh, Defence Counsel, pleaded with the court for a longer date to allow for settlement but it was declined by the Judge who said they must work within the confines of the law and therefore.

In adjourning the case to June 8, Mr. Asiedu said "in view of the situation and the fact that the teachers are in red bands it could disorganize proceedings."

A medical report indicated that Georgina had successfully undergone a "Cataract Surgery with I.O. L. Implantation and is still on treatment."

Police Chief Inspector Matilda Tetteh, prosecuting told the court that on February 22 this year, some students in Georgina's class involved themselves in a fight which attracted the attention of the accused. The class being under her control, she asked the students to keep quiet.

She said later, when Georgina was narrating the incident to other students who were not present, the accused said she was making noise and caned her and in the process the cane hit her left eye.

Police Chief Inspector Tetteh said Georgina complained that the accused had hurt her in the left eye before the accused stopped and the students drew her attention to the fact that Georgina was badly hurt.

She said Georgina was taken to the school's infirmary for first aid and later to a hospital at Sakumono Estates where she was referred to the 37 Military Hospital. Surgery was performed on the damaged eye.

After the adjournment, the teachers converged at the Teachers Resource Centre and pledged their continued solidarity with their colleague and resolved to contribute towards any fine that would be imposed on her.