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Principal denies favouritism


No favouritism and no special treatment.

Principal of the Alexandra School Jeff Broomes has denied his practice of such in relation to some teachers at the St. Peter learning institution.

Testifying for a fourth straight day at the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra, held again today at the Wildey Gymnasium, Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, Broomes denied favouring senior teacher Vernelle Woods over Deputy Principal Beverley Neblett-Lashley.

This was in relation to both teachers getting leave when loved ones died. Responding to questions from Barbados Secondary Teachers Union counsel Hal Gollop, Broomes said he had no authority to approve leave for either individuals since he was not their employer.

But he added, that while he had personally given Woods assistance, including monetary, when her sister died, that was because she was one of his closest friends.

On the other hand, he said, the deputy principal did not similarly share personal things with him or other people.

“Mrs. Lashley is a very private person. She never shares her business with me… It was within her right when she had to go to a funeral. She applied for leave, not to me, I do not give such leave, and it was granted, I do not know the conditions under which this leave was given,” he testified.

Broomes said he did in fact pay for Woods plane ticket to travel overseas,

and that while there she attended to school business on his behalf. He also noted that her sister’s funeral was not held overseas, but in

Barbados. “That is all correct and I stand by that. Mrs. Lashley and I both attended

the funeral of the sister because the body was flown back to Barbados and the funeral was in St. Joseph and we both attended the funeral. She (Woods) did not go overseas to a funeral and that’s the whole point,” he told the commission.

As for paying for the teacher’s airline ticket, he said: “I have no problem with that, I would do it for anybody, any friend of mine.

“Mrs. Woods is one of my very best friends in the world and I wouldn’t deny that. I paid for her to go and she went up to the funeral… I do not know why that is a big issue.” Broomes also said he did not favour specific staff members when it came to attending funerals of their deceased family members.

“I am not going to tell anybody that I am going to go to every funeral in Barbados,” he said. (SC)

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