All but thrown out

Relations between Principal Jeff Broomes and teachers at the Alexandra School were often so contentious that the only thing he didn’t do was physically throw them out of his office.

That’s what now retired head of the school’s English Department, Margo Clarke, said today as she concluded her testimony at the Commission of Enquiry into the school.

Responding to questions from attorney-at-law Guyson Mayers, counsel for chairman of the board of management Keith Simmons, Clarke said Broomes took all the joy out of going to school.

“At first I believed that I was the only one, I thought that I was the person that was the source of whatever discomfort Mr. Broomes felt that he was feeling and this went on for quite a while,” she said.

“But as time went on I realised that more and more persons were being roped in, more and more heads of department were crying out in frustration.

“He took the approach that he was in charge of everything and even when teachers tried to do things in their department he would stop them… Gradually he made enemies of everyone,” she added. Clarke said she was unaware current English Department head Leslie Lett was once considered Broomes’ blue eyed boy, but noted she was surprised that he “would be going through the same thing that I would through”.

“All of us originally stood behind him… We welcomed him with open arms, we welcomed him to the school, we did not have anything against Mr. Broomes at all,” she said.

“Mr. Broomes took advantage of us, I think he knocked the staff for six before they were able to take action.

“The verbal attacks upon me were duplicated in verbal attacks upon other persons, a consistent pattern. I would say that Mr. Broomes goes from point calm to point rage, he shoots from what looks like calm to rage in a flash.” (SC)

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