Our final word: Jeff must go!
The Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union’s longest serving staff representative at the Alexandra School does not want to see Principal Jeff Broomes returning to the St. Peter institution.
Head of the school’s Fine Arts Department, Gail Streat-Jules said “separation” was the only “answer for Broomes, who she suggested was “set in his ways” and would not change.
The longstanding teacher, who made it clear she was not an Alexandra old scholar, and was prepared for her own fate if it was determined she herself would have to be “scattered” from the school, said while the school inspection report pointed to a fracture, “in my opinion it is an abyss”.
“I can’t see how Alexandra can continue with that, it has brought us here now. In my humble opinion … there is only one answer for Mr. Broomes… I would like to see him separated as the union has called for and I am saying this because I have been at the school for 28 years, 18 of which have been so good,” she told the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra today.
Streat-Jules, who is the final witness at the tribunal, said she had grown so attached to the school and parish that she and her husband had purchased a home there. But she said while she had done nothing wrong she was prepared for whatever consequences were likely in terms of her position at the school.
“We made our home in St. Peter, I did nothing wrong and I am saying to you … I can’t tell you what to do with me, I guess people may want to move me and scatter me to the wind but I say … show me anything that I have done wrong and if I have done something wrong and I need to be scattered well move me,” she stated.
The teacher said another “problem with going forward with Mr. Broomes … is Mr. Broomes does not respect women”.
“Mr. Broomes is a grown man set in his ways, Mr. Broomes has indicated that he will not be discussing anything with Miss McClean or myself so if he is not discussing anything with me I don’t know how I can function,” she told the commission.
“Mr. Broomes has also said that he does not intend to read any letters from the BSTU, I can see that a problem because BSTU represents 60 per cent of the staff and Mr. Broomes is a person who is set in his ways. Mr. Broomes does not share the same standards or values that many of us share and I think that there lies the major problem at the school.
“He is a person who says he makes all of the decisions, that has not changed. Mr. Broomes is a person who has more or less maintained that he does not have to discuss anything with anybody.
“He says when he speaks to us it is for information only so I can’t see how we can go forward. Every term Mr. Broomes comes with a new idea. He is supposed to be an innovative thinker, a person who can get things done and every idea … has been a dismal failure. He is not a person to assess and reassess and evaluate and share, … he sees it as a personal attack on him.
“He has said we are trying to emasculate him … instead of seeing all of us working together this whole idea of emasculation to me shouts insecurity,” she added.
“I can’t see how Mr. Broomes can come back to Alexandra School… It’s not easy… My mother prays every night, my family, my friends if not for them I guess should have broken down so Mr. Broomes should be separated.” (SC)