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Amaida Greaves to give testimony tomorrow

A section of the audience at the enquiry.

Amaida Greaves is about to have her say.

The Alexandra School teacher accused of not teaching a class for an entire term last year will be in the witness chair at some stage tomorrow when the Commission of Enquiry into the St. Peter institution continues at the Wildey Gymnasium, Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.

But even before her key testimony is given, the head of Alexandra’s Science Department alleged infraction was again a hot topic at today’s hearing of the tribunal, with her colleague, head of the English department Leslie Lett saying she should have responded to a May 24, 2012 letter from Principal Jeff Broomes on the matter. Additionally, Lett, who completed his evidence today, reiterated that as far as he knew the allegation against Greaves was untrue.

Indication that the science teacher would speak publicly on the issue for the first time since it was raised last December 2 by the principal came from commission senior counsel Milton Pierce this afternoon. It came during a discussion the presence, tomorrow, of Broomes’ lawyers Vernon Smith, QC, and Cecil McCarthy.

“The intention was, and I would like my colleagues to know now, that the intention was to call Mrs Amaida Greaves tomorrow and I believe Mrs. Greaves is one of the central characters as she is referred to in the terms of reference,” Pierce told the commission.

“So that I believe her evidence will take a little while, but I think that counsel would want to hear her testimony in its entirety, but it is the intention to bring on Mrs. Greaves tomorrow.”

Both Smith and McCarthy assured Commissioner Frederick Waterman both of them would be present, at varying stages, for tomorrow’s sitting. Earlier, while being examined by McCarthy, Lett restated that he was unaware of a letter Broomes reportedly sent to Greaves last May on the subject of her alleged non teaching of a class of fourth formers.

When asked to refer to minutes of two meetings held at the Ministry of Education on December 30, 2011 and January 14, 2012, at which the matter was discussed, the teacher said he did not remember it being mentioned.

“I was not aware. I don’t recall. I would suggest you go to meetings and you don’t remember everything, Sir, these were long meetings. I don’t remember mention of a letter being made… I missed that,” the witness said.

“I am telling the commission that up to yesterday I did not see this letter. I was not aware of it, Sir … I am saying that there are a lot of reasons, I could have been talking to a colleague. I don’t know what I was doing at the time because I don’t know when it was mentioned.”

That being the case, Lett said he was told by Greaves and Barbados Secondary Teachers Union representatives that the allegation “is inaccurate”.

“From what I was told the teacher did teach the form… I wouldn’t know if she taught for the whole term,” Lett said. “The information I have is that the class was taught and therefore it cannot be said with accuracy that the teacher did not teach the class for the entire term, that is the information that I have, Sir.”

“Mrs. Greaves told me that the statement that she refused to teach a class for an entire term was inaccurate. The information given to me by Mrs. Greaves and the BSTU was that the statement was inaccurate and I accepted that. That is the information I have, I am not going to tell you something that I don’t have information about, that would be wrong,” he answered when McCarthy persisted.

Lett added, however, that based on the May 24, 2012 letter shown to him, which Broomes was to have sent to Greaves, she should have responded.

“From what I saw of the letter yesterday I think that she should have responded to the letter, I would concur with Mr. Frost. I certainly would have responded to it,” he said. (SC)

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