Deputy a mom to me, says teacher

An Alexandra School teacher who is a relative of Principal Jeff Broomes has distanced himself from criticisms of the school’s second in command.

Amid evidence that there was a fractured relationship between the principal and Deputy Principal of the St. Peter institution Beverley Lashley, Roger Broomes today told the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra that Lashley was someone worthy of admiration and he considered her “a mother”.

The temporary teacher, who is the principal’s cousin and has been assigned to the school since 2004, said he had “no complaints” against the deputy.

He was responding to questions from Barbados Secondary Teachers Union counsel Hal Gollop. “Mrs. Lashley is an individual who I have lots of respect for. I admire Mrs. Lashley. She is the deputy principal, she is my superior, she is a very understanding, she gives me words of advice and so on. She is approachable to me, I have no complaints in relation to Mrs. Lashley, I accept any advice which is given to me from Mrs. Lashley,” he told the commission.

“When I am around Mrs. Lashley, or when I have to go to Mrs. Lashley’s office or Mrs. Lashley asks me anything … I don’t see Mrs. Lashley as a cold person. In my opinion Mrs. Lashley is one of the more professional persons at the school in her dealings with me. I can’t say what may have transpired between Mrs. Lashley and other people.”

Gollop told the witness there was evidence that the deputy was disrespectful to the principal, including rolling her eyes at staff meetings when the principal spoke.

He responded: “I have seen Mrs. Lashley rolled up her eyes, I can’t say Mrs. Lashley rolled up her eyes at an individual, I would have to be in Mrs. Lashley’s eyes at the time to determine. Mrs. Lashley was there when I first started … would have given me advice, then Mrs. Lashley went on secondment to American when Mrs. Lashley returned … I see Mrs. Lashley as like my mother.”

“I can only speak of how Mrs. Lashley interacts with me. Mrs. Lashley sometimes would come and out of the blue you would turn up at your desk and you would see a note of encouragement placed on your desk, there are times when you would find a post card.

“I have seen it in the PE room, there are notes and envelopes which were placed on the desk of Miss Smith, who was also in that room, notes were placed on my desk, notes were placed on the desk of Miss Sophia Ifill… Mrs. Lashley was very nice.” (SC)

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