Just a strong voice

Shouting — what shouting?

Principal of the Alexandra School, saying he spoke “with timbre in my voice” and was “not a whisperer”, today denied shouting at teachers and other individuals at the school he has headed since 2002.

Speaking on his final day of evidence at the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex today, Broomes said: “I have heard this shouting thing, I don’t know where they got this from. I am not a whisperer…, I speak firmly, I speak with timbre in my voice and I am not going to say that I don’t’ speak firmly or loudly sometimes, but this shouting thing I don’t know where it came from,” he told the commission.

“I am not saying that I was whispering… I have always had back and forth, I stand firm on certain things, but this shouting thing is nonsensical,” he said in reference to him and his conduct at board meetings.

This was one of the views which emerged during testimony at the tribunal, that the principal’s counsel Cecil McCarthy, QC, sought to have Broomes debunk in his evidence.

One such area was that he did not “listen” to teacher ideas. He said this was not the case, and that there were several example of programmes recommended by teachers that he had accepted and would in place at the school “I do not see any school surviving with a situation like that, ever, and I would suggest to you the unfortunate thing is we would have 10 things, we would agree on seven and then people would concentrate on the three and say we don’t agree,” he stated.

“I think it is unfair for anyone to say that staff is not involved in decision making… Sometimes we will disagree and eventually an ultimate decision has to be made and as head of the school when we have gone through the whole process and we can’t agree I will make the decision.”

Despite the challenges, however, Broomes praised teachers for their voluntarism, specifically in terms of extra curricular activities. “I have worked at four schools in my time and Alexandra is highest in terms of voluntarism of teachers,” he said, only St. Lucy Secondary compared in that regard.

“I think that the amount of voluntary work that people put in they can never be fully recompensed for it.” (SC)

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