Removing Broomes 'part of solution'

Counsel for Alexandra Principal Jeff Broomes, Vernon Smith (left) and BSTU consultant Patrick Frost.

Removing Principal Jeff Broomes from the helm of the Alexandra School will not resolve all of its problems.

That’s the admission of Barbados Secondary Teachers Union consultant Patrick Frost.

But the veteran trade unionist said it would resolve some critical issues and allow an improved operational and industrial relations environment under a new school head.

He was giving his second day of evidence at the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra, held at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex. The witness said the BSTU was calling for Broomes’ separation because he was the “focal point of difficulty”.

“If you have a tooth that has an abscess in it and you remove that tooth, even if it is one in the front what do you do with the other teeth? You have removed abscess and you therefore remove the hurt that you feel. Now it is a bad image in the sense of the separation because when you separate that tooth from the other teeth you don’t give it another life,” he said.

“Well there are [other] possibilities … in the separation exercise, but my answer, though, is yes that you will not remove problems of discipline which may have occurred over a period of time, you will require a collective effort to deal with that, you will not remove certain problems of a timetabling nature automatically, somebody has to come and put them right.

“What you will correct are practices which are inimical to the running of the school, employment practices, practices of dealing with people, the question of the way in which money is handled, all that sort of thing,” he added.

Frost also said if Broomes was the cause of tension between junior and senior teachers his removal would help in resolving that aspect of the conflict.

“If Mr. Broomes is the problem of the tension between the two groups and you remove Mr. Broomes then … the problem between the two groups disappears… The tension can be removed by persons of maturity acting in a way in which you would expect mature persons to act,” he stated. (SC)

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