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Student backlash

behaviour of the alexandra pupils toward staff has deteriorated

Student behavior at the Alexandra School has worsened since the most recent strike by some its teachers.

Some of the seniors at the St. Peter institution, those in fifth form, are smiling with Principal Jeff Broomes, but disrespecting him when he is out of sight.

And this conduct, which also infiltrated the fourth and third form sections of the student body, has resulted in some children practically resisting instruction from teachers.

This is the what the Commission of Enquiry, now investigating the operation of the school, heard today from Alexandra guidance counselor Cyrilene Willoughby, the first member of the teaching staff to sit in the witness chair.

She was responding to questions from the commission’s senior counsel Milton Pierce, who asked her about student behavior since the January 2012 industrial action.

“Since then I found that students are not as comfortable as they were. One of the things that particularly bothers me is that observing the students and their behavior they have learnt to play the game of saying what will please someone when that person is there and they change when the person goes,” she said.

“I observed interaction with the principal and students and they had quite a good interaction. He communicated with them in the driveway and I can sit and see them in my office and those same students left there and went into a classroom and were so disrespectful when they spoke of the principal, they were extremely disrespectful of the principal.”

The teacher said this was not a feature of the school “pre-industrial action”.

But she said the disrespect and disregard for authority, by some students, was not restricted to Broomes.

“I actually saw them challenge other people. It was as if we don’t have to answer to anybody now except the principal and we will do that however we feel like it,” she stated.

“There was actually an instance where it was said (by students) that in terms of academic performance post January ‘When I was ready to work you all weren’t here so I am not working now’.

“Where I saw it came in fifth (form) but I did have some colleagues report to me some children as low as third (form) challenging them in a way that they were not accustomed to being challenged before.” (SC)

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