Broomes no villian

Principal of the Alexandra School Jeff Broomes is “a good man”.

And contrary to protestations from some of his teachers, he is fair administrator.

The principal receive that commendation today from his cousin Roger Broomes, a temporary teacher at the St. Peter School as he ended his testimony before the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra.

He was answering questions from the principal’s counsel Cecil McCarthy, QC.

“I think the principal has the interest and the welfare of every person of the plant. I think that he’s a very open to new and creative ideas, I think he’s very much, and I think this is sometimes where the lines are crossed, … very open to the children who seem to be not conforming and when they need to be disciplined he exercises his discipline fairly,” the witness told the tribunal.

“The principal I know also looks out for the teachers. There is Teacher of the Year, there is technology, there is Worker of the Year, these are all initiatives which the principal has put in place. There is a students council at the school which was also an initiative (of the principal).”

Broomes said even when more than two dozen teachers represented by the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union were on strike in January the principal did not speak negatively about them in their absence.

“I think that the principal has been fair, or as fair as he possibly can be, to each and every member on the staff. When the teachers from BSTU were not there he was constantly asking the children to be respectful to all of the teachers when they returned,” he noted.

“And he would not stand for any disrespect from any of them (students) towards any of the teachers on the compound, whether BSTU members, BUT members or otherwise.”

The teacher said since his colleagues who took industrial action had returned to school, the principal had also shown he was concerned about their welfare.

“At the end of last term there was a football game and the staff room was open because some teachers were on the playing field watching the game and some students went into the staff room and removed items from some teachers cubicles,” he recalled.

“When it was drawn to the principal’s attention the principal dealt with these students. In fact, he called an assembly at which he was very upset with what the children on that occasion had done, and one of them was I believe one of the better cricketers at Alexandra School, and that child was asked to remain at home until he could come back and do his exams and so on.”

Broomes also said he had no problem with his colleagues, although he acknowledged relations between himself and fellow Physical Education teacher Sophia Ifill had broken down.

“I generally get along well with all persons. I know it was alluded to that I am smiling a lot whilst I am giving evidence, that has always been part of me even from a boy coming up,” he said. (SC)

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