A man posed as a government official to take over a high school in a rural community, where he beat students with a cane and leather belts and arbitrarily changed school hours, police said Friday.
The 22-year-old man pulled off his ruse for two weeks until suspicious teachers finally called the Ministry of Education, Police Commander Gavin Primo said. The man is now in police custody.
Primo did not identify the suspect, who he said used three different names.
The head teacher and other teachers initially accepted the man's claim that he had been sent by the Ministry of Education to run the Golden Grove High School. But they became suspicious when he began using different names and they noticed his poor grammar and spelling.
Primo said the suspect will be charged with multiple counts of assault and with impersonating a government official.
Education officials in the South American country discourage corporal punishment, but it is common for teachers in rural communities to beat students. Primo said the man is subject to the assault charges because he was not actually a teacher.
About 250 students attend Golden Grove, located in eastern Guyana.