'Alexandra students were not taught for nine weeks'

Claims of a number of senior students at the Alexandra School not having adequate instruction for several weeks have surfaced.

And this time it involves Principal Jeff Broomes.

Retired head of the school’s English Department Margo Clarke, today asserted that with a delay in the transfer of a teacher from St. Lucy Secondary, Broomes made no effort to ensure that fourth and fifth formers were taught for nine weeks.

Clarke, who retired in 2009, and has taught at the school since 1980, did not give the year the alleged incident took place, but said it showed Broomes was not the unconditionally caring principal some people thought he was.

“Nine weeks went by when we didn’t have an English teacher and the principal did not express any care or concern about the fact that these children weren’t being taught … nearly a whole term,” she today.

She was giving evidence at the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra.

“This was when Mrs. Wood was supposed to be transferred from St. Lucy Secondary to the school and I do not know what was it with the legal transfer, but it went on and on and on until I took the fourth and fifth formers and divided them among the other teachers in the department, the teachers were not pleased.”

“The juniors I am afraid I could not really help them because their lessons did not run parallel. He (Broomes) did no show any sign of care then, he did not express any particular concern,” she said. Clarke also said the principal, who was rostered to teach English classes, a request he made after he became the school’s main administrator in 2002, often left his classes unattended.

She said there were other instances when he did not show he was concerned about the well being of all students at the St. Peter school.

“Over the years there are a number of students who have been put out of the Alexandra School without the correct process having been in place. If students are to be expelled there is a process that has to be gone through and parents have had to remove them because of the continuing harassment from the principal,” she alleged.

“Some of them were treated very, very unfairly and therefore the idea that is being projected that the students in the school might have this great love for him, unconditional love, it is not true.

“It is another of those things that have been projected on to the public, giving them the impression that this is a school of wonderful students with a wonderful principal — it is not true.” (SC)

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