Mae’s offers public apology to humiliated Indigenous child
…apology issued to child, parentsFrom right: Parents of nine-year-old Joshua Chacon, Jason Chacon and Karen Small with Director of Mae’s Schools Stacey French and Administrator Lucinda Mc CurdyAmid public outrage after the Mae’s Schools child was told his Indigenous cultural outfit was “inappropriate”, the school’s administration has issued an apology to the child and his parents to resolve the issue.The two parties were involved in a third discussion on Wednesday, and the Director of the institution, Stacey French, issued her apology to the parents of Joshua Chacon – Karen Small and Jason Chacon, among a gathering of officials from the Education Ministry and the Social Cohesion Department.In making her apology, French stated that ultimately what was important was protecting children. Both parents accepted the apology given, while Chacon went on to further state that he would like to see more programmes to bring awareness of culture in Guyana.Also present at Wednesday’s engagement were Education Minister Nicolette Henry; Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson; Deputy Chief Education Officer Ingrid Trotman; Education Ministry’s Legal Officer, Kelly-Ann Payne-Hercules and Private School Programme Coordinator of the Department of Social Cohesion, Sharon Patterson.Hutson stated that to begin resolving the issue, an apology was necessary as well as psycho-social support for the child. Further, Patterson supported the need for psycho-social support and stated her department’s willingness to also work with the teachers and staff of the school to ensure they have a better understanding of diversity and to enhance their capabilities to deal with such.Additionally, Minister Henry said that it was the responsibility of all stakeholders that some positive outcome was gained from the unfortunate situation.Minister Henry said that had better judgment prevailed, the entire episode could have been avoided. She said that the issue must be dealt with in such a way that when persons look back in retrospect, they must recall that it was resolved amicably and be reminded that there must be tolerance and respect for diversity.Meanwhile, at the National Toshaos Council (NTC) press conference, which was also held on Wednesday, it was revealed by NTC Vice Chairman Lenox Shuman that the Council was waiting on an invitation to visit the school so as to educate the administrative body and students about the culture of the Indigenous people. This, he said, is to ensure that such an incident is not repeated in the future.On May 25, the nine-year-old boy was stopped at his school gate since his Culture Day outfit was referred to by the institution as “inappropriate”. HeHis mother, Karen Small, then posted a picture on social media, which caught the attention of many, who condemned the actions of the school. She related that her child was brought to tears and then expressed loathing for the costume which he once admired. She explained that if the school was sceptical about the type of costume, then a guideline should’ve been disseminated to provide information on what is acceptable.