Friday, February 06, 2009

Students begging for teachers to be paid

A few days ago my husband was driving home from the Dominican Republic where he'd gone to stock up on supplies.  On the way back, he was driving through the community of Limonade.  He found a long line of trucks backed up behind a blockade.  The road block?  A demonstration by public school students who were asking for the government to pay their teachers so they'd come back to work.  Here it is February, and the staff has not been paid since school started in October. The students planned a peaceful blockade, right by the police station until 1 P.M. when their classes would normally let out.  Their purpose was to draw attention to the fact that while the gov't is dispensing funding for carnival festivities, many outlying suburban schools can't even open because of no pay to staff.  
The protest was going calmly until the police decided it had gone on long enough.  With the U.N. staffers instructing them, the police proceeded to try and break it up.  Eventually this led to firing tear gas at the high school students to get them to go home.  Only in Haiti, it seems, do we have police and a government that orders students to go home.  
Of course, no one ever heard about this anywhere in the world.