Ms. Gangadin Sebarat-Isaacs, the acting Head Teacher of the Number Five Primary School, who was reportedly attacked last year by a 16-year-old student from another school in Berbice, and to whom many had been sympathetic on social media, has been painted on a completely different canvas by persons in her community.
Ms. Isaacs was reportedly given a sound thrashing by the youth, sparking a social media storm about the safety of teachers, and a national debate about youth violence against women.
The youth has since been placed on a school bond to keep the peace following an investigation by the School’s Welfare Department of the Ministry of Education.
But during a recent media tour of the Berbice area, the Guyana Guardian in a bid to seek clarity on the incident was given a completely different picture of the Head Teacher.
For one, some police ranks who pleaded for their identity to be withheld, reasoned that there are records of numerous assault complaints made by several men over the years, who claimed that the woman had beaten them.
But because of her senior position in the education system, compounded by the fact that the children of many police ranks are attending her school, charges are never brought against her.
Backing up the police’s story, two other men in the area was singing the same tune, with both of them ironically admitting that the woman had given them a “good lickin” on separate occasions.
Stressing that the woman is a “man gene” and that “she like beat man bad“, one of the men explained that “A day I deh walkin and somebody shout all-you watch dah big man – and even though she ain’t sure was who, this woman stay just suh and start cuffin me, and slap me up, even though I tell she that it wasn’t me”.
He admitted that many men in the area would usually provoke the teacher by calling her “big man” or any other male related title because “she looks like a man, walk like a man, is strong like a man and has man genes”
When told that it was not right for them to be provoking teacher. He exclaimed that though he is in agreement with the “man gene” classification, he has never and would never label the teacher as a man or a “big man”
Chiming in, the other man also claimed that the woman that had beaten him up, and is not the helpless victim that most people on Social portrayed her to be.
In giving his experiences with the head teacher, the man insisted that “She ain’t no saint. She beat up nuff nuff man in Berbice. She did slap me up a time all because I mek a gender joke with she. She quick fuh run to police and seh how de men dem assault she. But none ah dem does deh when she beatin and tormenting we hay.”
But even so, this news entity learned that there were instances where she did good by physically defending the younger female family members who either allegedly assaulted or taunted by men in the district.
According to one woman, “I remember a time da woman beat up ah man bad, all because he trouble she niece’.
While agreeing that it may be an understandable reaction in that case, she added that “Me ain’t seh that she was wrong, – but you can’t just deh walking around de place beating up men.”
Many have since shared the view that in the case of the teenage boy, it might have been the first time that the table was turned on her, thus causing her to take to social media to seek public ridicule against the child.
They further suggested that in most cases, men in the area don’t retaliate because she’s a woman who had caused men to go Court for fighting back with her.
But in summary, they suggested that the teacher ought to control her temper, because one of these days, “she might meet up with the wrong people.”