Calabar had major doubts regarding teacher’s assault – press release attempts to explain school’s version of events

By Sports Desk March 24, 2019

Calabar acting-principal Calvin Rowe has defended the school’s handling of the incident involving high school track stars Chris Taylor and De’Jour Russell, in the wake of public backlash and some biting criticism.

The athletes Taylor and Russell, who are expected to represent the school at the ISSA Boys and Girls’ Championship later this week, were accused of assaulting high school physics teacher Sanjay Shaw in December of last year. 

Despite several months elapsing since the incident, the teacher has recently expressed dissatisfaction with how the issue was handled.  In a press conference, held late last week, he accused the school of putting sporting interest over academics and tardiness in addressing the issue.   

In a press release, posted on the school’s website, however, Rowe denied placing athletics above academics and attempted to addressing accusations of addressing the issue late.

According to the release, no action was taken sooner, regarding the teacher’s alleged attack, because Rowe was waiting on evidence of the assault, which the teacher claimed to have recorded on video. 

The document goes on to state that having reviewed the evidence and conducted interviews with the students, it was decided only a strong reprimand was required as there was not enough strong evidence of an assault.

A doctor’s report submitted by Shaw, however, stated that the injuries he received were minor but were likely the result of blunt force trauma.

“It became clear to us as the investigations proceeded that there were conflicting accounts on key aspects, for example, the two students involved strongly denied assaulting Mr. Shaw and testified instead to the contrary; while one student admitted to shoving the teacher’s phone from the face of his teammate he was adamant that he did not step on the instrument,” the press release read.

“Having taken all things into consideration and noting the conflicting reports and the lack of evidence of any assault on the video footage, we decided not to escalate the matter to the Board but to deal with it at the level of the school’s senior leadership team,” it continued.

The document goes on to state that following Shaw’s insistence and a re-interview with the students, it was later, however, decided to suspend both athletes for five days.  They were, however, allowed to train and represent the school during the period, which continues to be a sore point for the physics teacher.

“Giving thought to Mr. Shaw’s insistence and even though I had made it clear that the nature of the punishment was not his prerogative, upon further reflection I decided to go a step further. The two students were re-interviewed and while their testimonies were unchanged I decided to suspend them for 5 days with the proviso that they were required to work on their CAPE SBAs, they were allowed to train and they would compete in their final development meet. It ought to be noted that both punitive measures were aimed at addressing the matter of disobedience to a teacher’s directive and NOT for assault, which, as was said earlier, we could not validate independently and with sufficient conviction,” the document said.

Below is the full version of the press release.

 

http://calabarhighschool.com/content/press-release-calabar-high-school-response-public-complaint-sanjay-shaw-march-24-2019

 

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