Chairs fly as teachers' tempers flare in Acapulco. Chairs and water bottles fly as teachers' tempers flare in Acapulco.

Education conference in Acapulco turns into brawl among teachers

Forum canceled after quarrel between members of rival unions

An education forum in Acapulco, Guerrero, was canceled yesterday after a brawl broke out among teachers just before it was due to start.

At approximately 10:00am, around 300 teachers belonging to the Guerrero Education Workers’ Union (CETEG) burst into a conference room at the Acapulco convention center and launched into a boisterous protest against educational reforms and the disappearance of 43 students in 2014.

They also threw objects at the forum attendees, many of whom were members of the SNTE teachers’ union.

The latter, the CETEG claims, has not fought to defend public education in Guerrero or recognized the repression the state’s teachers have suffered.

The SNTE teachers retaliated by throwing bottles of water at the CETEG members as they shouted at them to leave.

The confrontation then turned even uglier as teachers from both unions threw chairs at each other.

All told, the ruckus lasted around 10 minutes during which time a lot of the attendees fled the conference room. There were no reports of injuries.

The Guerrero Attorney General’s office has opened an investigation into the incident.

The forum was organized by the transition team of president-elect López Obrador and future education secretary Esteban Moctezuma Barragán was to have led it.

Instead, he appeared on stage only to announce that the forum was canceled and that it would be rescheduled for a later date.

The 2013 educational reform, intended to improve teaching standards and subject teachers to compulsory evaluations, was met with strong opposition, especially from the dissident CNTE union, to which the CETEG belongs.

There have been hundreds of protests against the reform over the past five years.

López Obrador, who will be sworn in on December 1, has pledged to revoke the reform.

“The educational reform will be canceled and replaced by another reform that will take the point of view of teachers and parents into consideration,” he said in August.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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