Alexandra School Controversary
It is certainly not the intention of Mahogany Coconut to pick sides in the current and embarrassing dispute now bitterly engulfing the Alexandra School, the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union and the Principal, Mr. Jeff Broomes. Suffice it to say that no self –respecting union, defending the rights of its members, should bow to pressure, by allowing an entire staff, to work with a principal, in whom they have lost total confidence.
Let’s face it, teachers in Barbados, are not known to go to such lengths, unless they are absolutely fed up with the management of the school plant. Indeed, it was shocking to witness, the Principal, a former high ranking officer and member of the Barbados Union of Teachers, engaged in publicly criticizing a member of the staff at the school’s last speech day function. He should have known that action would have caused further fractioning within the institution. He even went further and issued a challenge to those who will have questioned his criticism to a kind of duel. That was a poor display of management. A school’s speech day should place emphasis on the students and not the internal managerial/personnel problems of the institution.
Equally to blame is the Ministry of Education and both political administrations, the Barbados Labour Party and the current government, the Democratic Labour Party, for allowing this professionally sickening action , to drag on for six long years.
We also urge parents, not to blame teachers for standing up for their rights. It is unfortunate that the children will be affected, but who can seriously argue that it is not in the children’s collective interest that this matter be resolved once and for all. No pain no gain. Furthermore, those who believe that the children were unaware of the situation at their school, are really also unaware that these personnel problems are suspected by students long before they become public.
We therefore urge the Ministry of Education, to resolve this conflict by removing Mr. Broomes from the school and placing a temporary principal there until this matter is resolved. It is obvious that there has been a complete breakdown of staff relations under his management.