Who is the Ministry protecting?

The Union of Professional Educators Voice of the Workers has for the past two weeks been observing a case whereby an Assistant Head was verbally and physically assaulted by a third party employed as a security guard. The incident happened when the security guard was caught smoking on school premises and was not performing his assigned duties. When he was verbally cautioned not to smoke on school premises, the security guard started pushing and shouting at the assistant head of the Higher Secondary School in Naxxar. The assistant head immediately informed his superiors of the incident.

What ensued next is that, while the management did not investigate the security guard, it instead called the assistant head for an interrogation by his superiors and the employers of the security guard. During this interrogation, the employers and superiors tried to justify the attitude and actions of the security guard.

The Union through its affiliate intervened immediately with the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Education Dr Fabri and request that a proper investigation takes place whereby the board determines the facts and takes the necessary actions.

Although the union had intervened on the 22nd of January 2017, no reply has been forthcoming. Instead, it was informed by its member that his duties are being changed with immediate effect, and his responsibilities are being removed.

UPE is astonished that it is evident that the ministry, instead of protecting the person who was assaulted, is instead protecting the aggressor. It is also evident that it does not want to perform a proper investigation since the facts would show that the attitudes and actions of the security guard are to be condemned.

It is therefore asking: Who is the Ministry protecting? Why is it afraid to conduct a proper investigation? Why is the alleged victim being effectively transferred and why are his duties being changed?

The Union will continue intervening in this case until justice prevails and it does not exclude in taking more action as necessary.