Teachers slam attack by cop

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 22nd August 2012

TEACHERS in an electorate in the National Capital District have condemned Monday’s attack on a colleague by a policeman at a mission school in Waigani, Port Moresby.
They gathered yesterday at Evadahana Primary School and vowed to have the policeman responsible face justice.
Martin Togemas, the head teacher of Norblet Primary, was allegedly punched by the policeman father of a Grade Two student after he sent the student home for not wearing the proper uniform to school.
Sam Wala, the head teacher of Evadahana Primary School, at 9-Mile, Port Moresby, on behalf of other teachers in the Moresby North-East electorate, yesterday said the policeman who assaulted Togemas “is a criminal who needs to be kicked out of the force”.
“We strongly condemn the actions of this policeman.
“If he is a policeman he should have discussed the matter maturely with the head teacher and not punch him,” Wala said.
He said all schools in NCD enforced a strict dress code for students and parents should know that.
He said the actions of the policeman did not go down well with teachers in the city who were doing their best to educate students.
“This policeman is a rogue cop. He is a primitive and shouldn’t be in the city.
“How would he feel if the head teacher punched his wife and child?” Wala asked.
Wala said the teachers in the electorate would lobby for support from other teachers in NCD and meet this week to raise their concerns with the Papua New Guinea Teachers’ Association and police.
Wala said the teachers would ensure the policeman responsible for the beating was removed from the force.
He said such officers were tarnishing the reputation of other hardworking policemen.
NCD police operations chief Andy Bawa yesterday expressed disgust at the actions of the officer involved.
“I am very disappointed. How can a police officer do that,” Bawa said.
“As we speak, suspension letters are issued to those policemen responsible and they will be suspended.”
Bawa said there were a number of policemen who helped the officer and all of them would be suspended while an investigation into the matter was carried out.
“I expect policemen to be professionals. As a parent, the policeman should have handled the situation professionally,” Bawa said.
“I warn all police officers not to harass or abuse innocent members of the public.
“I am sick and tired of receiving reports of rogue police officers.”
Bawa urged people to report any undisciplined police officers to the force hierarchy so they could be investigated and disciplined.