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Classes suspended at Tivoli Gardens High after viral video of student-teacher fight

Classes have been suspended at Tivoli Gardens High School in Kingston following a viral video on Monday showing a physical altercation between a student and a teacher.

Only students sitting CXC exams are being allowed on the compound.

A team from the Ministry of Education, led by acting director of Safety and Security in Schools, Richard Troupe, is investigating the incident.

In an interview with Radio Jamaica News, Mr. Troupe said the team met with administrators at the school on Tuesday morning. 

He said the video reflects the need for the teaching of conflict management in schools, as the altercation again highlights the concerning incidence of violence in schools. 

Of particular concern, too, is the fact that the fight was captured on video and posted to social media. This, Mr. Troupe said, demonstrated "how irresponsible we can be in such matters". 

However, he commended those students seen in the video who attempted to de-escalate the tussle between student and teacher. 

The physical confrontation between the 16-year-old student and the teacher happened about 11 o'clock Monday morning.

It's reported that class was in session when the student entered, causing a disturbance.

He was asked by the teacher to leave, but refused, and this led to a fight.

The teacher sustained injuries, including to her face.

The student was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm and malicious destruction of property as the teacher's glasses were damaged.

He was granted station bail and is scheduled to appear in court on June 21.

Mr. Troupe said, to date, 104 primary and high schools have benefitted from a partnership with the Ministry of Justice in conflict management training. 

Another 105 schools will be engaged in the Restorative Practices Training in the upcoming school year.


Senior Superintendent Michael Phipps, head of the Kingston Western Police, told Radio Jamaica News that the police have been trying without success to arrange intervention meetings with Tivoli High School principal, Marvin Johnson, in light of disciplinary issues at the school.

He said the school is among several in the police division which have been experiencing challenges.

SSP Phipps said meetings have been held with most principals in Kingston Western and efforts are being made to address the issues.