Worrying words

Like thousands of others in this country I am an honest hardworking taxpayer. Like thousands of others in this country I am finding life not so easy in these harsh economic times. Like thousands of others in this country I do not want my tax dollars wasted by our Government on unnecessary things like another commission of inquiry.

But when I read in your paper what Jeff Broomes, now the principal of Parkinson School, can say to parents about

his staff and also declare about himself I have to wonder if another commission will not be coming. Mr Prime Minister, I don’t think any taxpayer in Barbados would take too kindly to that.

I cannot understand how Broomes can see it proper to make a public statement to parents that there is going to be a “battle” between him and his staff and “all that will happen, they will cuss me … but I ain’t gine change”. His words worry

me on so many levels. Broomes seems to be a man who relishes a “battle” and

people who like battles, go around, even unconsciously, looking for a fight when another way of doing things could and should have been sought. When you are a hammer all of your problems look like nails.

What he tells parents is that he has a staff that will “cuss” him. What is this really designed to do? What impression has

he created of the staff in the minds of the parents and the Barbadian public since the media was invited there to report on the meeting?

Does it raise the staff in the estimation of those who heard/read the statement that these teaching professionals will “cuss” him? He said too that this cussing was “all that will happen”. Again, what kind of portrait of the staff is he drawing?

Apart from what can be viewed as a not very complimentary characterisation of the staff in the minds of many, what effect does this have on that staff? How far does it go in creating an atmosphere of respect, cooperation and collegiality?

And then those four words that concern me the most — “I ain’t gine change”. In one letter to your paper of May 29 (page 32) and titled A broom can’t change its bristles the writer makes the

good point that Jeff Broomes does not seem able to learn from the past. This attitude of his is what was largely responsible for all the trouble and confusion at the Alexandra School. Now here he is again.

I found it so ironic that in your paper of May 28 (page 3) you report that the Minister of Education spoke of Broomes’ re-branding in an article you titled Jones: Nothing wrong with change’ yet at the same time Broomes is saying intransigently “I ain’t gine change”. Is this really the language of a leader? Is this really the behaviour of a leader? Is this really the mindset of a leader?

I hope these ominous words of Jeff Broomes will act as a wake-up call for those in authority. Please, deal with the issue before it gets out of hand as it did before. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

— Nadirah Harris

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