Mae’s “inappropriate” decision…calls for apology to studentThe National Toshaos Council (NTC) has condemned the actions taken by the administration of Mae’s school last week to prohibit a student from displaying his Amerindian traditional outfit at the institution’s culture day event, after labelling it as “inappropriate”.National Toshaos Council Chairman Joel Fredericks told Guyana Times on Monday that he was aware of the incident via a post on social media, which explained the discrimination that was faced by the student after he dressed as an Amerindian, to participate in his culture day activities.“In my opinion, if it was so then, it was wrong because as you know, Guyana has six races and under the Constitution of Guyana, the laws of Guyana state that every race and person has a right to a religion, cultural belief, and tradition. You have that right.”He later stated that it was completely erroneous on the part of the school to disallow the child from participating, since that is the cultural wear of the Amerindian people. As a result, the culture of the Guyana’s first people should be respected as any other ethnicity.NTC Chairman Joel Fredericks“For me if it was so that whoever prevent the child from entering the school, that is wrong. When [it] is heritage month, I as a Chief would dress in my traditional wear and I go anywhere. That is my culture and I respect other peoples’ culture,” the NTC Chairman stated.He added that the Council has shown its disapproval of the manner in which the child was treated and demanded that the staff of the school be educated on the practices of the Amerindian people so that other children are not confronted with this situation in the future.“We need to teach not only the children, but we also need to educate adults also because that adult maybe didn’t know the right of every individual. I am disappointed and the way the school treated it was wrong. I don’t support that. The guard need to be educated because how can that be inappropriate when that is one’s culture. He was just wearing a tibisiri skirt, a necklace and a headdress. That is our culture,” Fredericks explained.The NTC Chairman has called for Mae’s Schools to publicly apologise to the parents of the child and Indigenous people, for the manner in which their traditions were treated. He noted that all ethnicities should be treated with the same respect and importance.“The National Toshaos Council is made up of Amerindian people and when is Heritage Month, we have our celebrations and we respect other races’ celebrations and they need to respect us.“This is a little kid who went to school with his traditional wear and it offended people. They disrespected the kid and offended his parents. I believe the school and the principal should apologise publicly to the Indigenous peoples of Guyana.”Last Friday, Mae’s Schools held their culture day activities. The child’s mother took to social media to voice her disapproval after her child was prohibited from entering the school after his Indigenous outfit was deemed as “too inappropriate”.The disturbed mother related that the child was brought to tears and then expressed loathing for the costume, which he once admired. She explained that if the school was sceptical about the type of costume, then a guideline should have been disseminated to provide information on what is acceptable. She added that to her distress the guard’s position was also supported by some of the teachers.The post went viral with hundreds of persons lashing out at the school for its position. This publication reached out to the mother of the child on Monday, who indicated that no apology was issued to her or her son. She said that he went to school on Monday as per normal.On Monday, when Guyana Times contracted Social Cohesion Minister, Dr George Norton for a comment on the matter, he said he was not aware of the issue, but would get back to this publication.One popular Amerindian rights activist called for the complete banning of culture day in schools if persons are not allowed to wear Indigenous outfits to depict Guyana’s diversity.In several posts, the mother was urged to file a formal complaint to the Education Ministry and the Ethnic Relations Commission.On Monday, the staff at the ERC said no one was available to comment on the matter.When this newspaper reached out to the school on multiple occasions for a comment on the matter, it was told that no one was available to comment on the matter.