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'Don't blame me for division'

A division within the teaching staff at the Alexandra School does exist and is “unfortunate”, but Principal Jeff Broomes is not accepting responsibility for it.

Broomes said he was aware of the suggestion that more senior members of the St. Peter school’s teaching staff, some of them old scholars, were divided against junior teachers, most of them temporary, and that the younger group was similarly opposed to the senior teachers.

The principal, however, said he was not to blame and that he was not practising a “divide and rule” philosophy.

He said this in his third day of evidence at the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra, which continued today at the Wildey Gymnasium, Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.

“I spend very little time in the staff room… I may pass through sometimes … or if I have a staff meeting,” Broomes said.

He also noted that there were as much as five unappointed and temporary teachers who took part in the January 2012 strike led by the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union.

The principal said the issue of a division came up when the 2010 Inspection Report on the school was discussed at a meeting at the school.

“To my mind it was disgusting and I told the chief education officer ‘I have to leave in here!’ and I left,” he said.

“It (the division) was under my watch and it is not something that I am happy to see happen but … there is a division at the top of the school where one side supports the principal, where the other side seems to support the other side of the deputy principal (and) those things can filter through. It is unfortunate.” (SC)

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