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Excuse for Greaves

Amaida Greaves

Sole Commissioner into the affairs of the Alexandra School, retired jurist Frederick Waterman, says that “the relationship between Mrs. [Amaida] Greaves and some members of her department can be described as strained at best and at its worst, uncomfortable”.

That relationship, he added, could be observed in the “evidence of Dwayne Bryan and Mrs. Woods.”

This is just a portion of what is contained in his 111-page Report of The Commission of the Enquiry Into The Administration of The Alexandra School.

Waterman stated that the most “serious charge” made against Greaves was the allegation from Principal Jeff Broomes during Speech Day on December 2, 2011 that “a senior teacher” had not taught “a fourth form for a whole term”, which had been brought to his “attention by two fourth form students in the corridor”.

The commissioner had plenty to say about “her dealings” with Broomes.

“As head of the Science Department, she was not consulted when new teachers were assigned to the department; The appointment of Ms. Renate Odwin to her department was made without her knowledge or any consultation with her; The principal, without justification, did not support Mrs. Greaves when the matter of the late of the submission of SBA’s was referred to the Ministry of Education.

“The principal made an adverse report on Mrs. Greaves to the Ministry of Education when she applied for the position of a deputy principal at another school, then he refused to give her a copy of the report. The principal wrote to the Ministry of Education regarding Mrs. Greaves’ absence from work on two occasions to attend funerals. The principal also wrote letters to Mrs. Greaves dated 14th and 18th October, 2008 in connection with the same matter. These letters gave Mrs. Greaves the impression that the principal was targeting her.

“As Head of the Science Department, Mrs. Greaves wrote to the principal making suggestions for the filling of acting vacancy of Science Department during her leave. These suggestions and recommendations were completely ignored by the principal,” Waterman stated.

Regarding what he termed the most “serious charge”, the commissioner stated that the “allegation has been found to be inaccurate” as “Mrs. Greaves produced a chart in her witness statement showing that she has taught up to week 7. Examinations commenced in week 8. In addition by letter dated 24th May 2011, the principal wrote to Mrs. Greaves: ‘I was just informed by two fourth form students that you have not turned up to teach their class on any day for the past five weeks, although you were available ….’

“This is quite a different situation from ‘the term’ referred to by the Principal in his 2nd December, 2011 speech. The evidence to the Commission clearly shows that Mrs. Greaves did teach some classes during the third term. The written statement of Mr. Damian Waithe, the Lab Assistant, indicated that he saw her teaching. Ms. Odwin gave evidence that her brother, a student, told her that Mrs. Greaves taught the single periods during the term but not the double periods.”

Commissioner Waterman further noted: “There is no doubt that Mrs. Greaves was given lawful instruction by the principal to teach. There is also no doubt that due to the chaotic atmosphere in her department, she did not teach some periods. During this period she went to the chairman’s office to discuss the mater. Mrs, Greaves gave evidence that the chairman in her presence spoke on the phone with the Chief Education Officer. She was awaiting instructions from the Chief Education Officer as to how to proceed. It was clear from her evidence that Mrs. Greaves was in breach of paragraph 2 (q) of the Code of Discipline in that she failed to perform the duties assigned to office. This amounts to misconduct of a serious nature.”

His recommendation?

“The commission finds, however, that there are extenuating circumstances surrounding the conduct of Mrs. Greaves. She has forty (40) years in the teaching service at Alexandra School. She complained bitterly to the principal about the time tabling and substitutions in her departments where in some instances unqualified teachers were assigned to her department with little or no input from her and finally, having drawn the confusion to the attention of the Ministry of Education, she was awaiting their instruction as to how to proceed, which instructions never came.

“It would suffice if Mrs. Greaves is given a written reprimand. However, in view her position as a public officer, this is a matter for investigation and determination by the Public Service Commission.” (DS)

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