Student discipline needed greater effort

Principal Jeff Broomes is the chief disciplinarian at the Alexandra School.

But a young teacher at the school, who was once struck by a rock while seeking to intervene in a disturbance there, believed some teachers did not do enough to ensure student discipline.

Mario Lashley, who continued his evidence at the Commission of Enquiry into the Alexandra School today at the Wildey Gymnasium, told the tribunal that compared to the St. Michael’s School where he previously taught Alexandra’s children “were more down to earth”, and he was also concerned with the “indecent language” some used.

If that was not bad enough, however, the teacher said an apparent unwillingness by some of his colleagues to ensure discipline was maintained at the St. Peter institution concerned him.

Saying when compared to St. Michael’s there was “generally” more indiscipline at Alexandra, Lashley said the students “background” and “how things are handled by the teachers”, were key contributing factors.

Questioned by Broomes’ counsel Cecil McCarthy, QC, about the extent to which teachers were pulling their weight in disciplining students, the witness told Commissioner Frederick Waterman he didn’t think this was done enough.

“No the weight wasn’t heavy enough. I was struck by a rock in an incident and I was the only staff member out there,” he testified.

He noted that at the time a disturbance involving several students took place in the vicinity of an examination room, and that when he asked the invigilator in charge of the test if he knew what was taking place with the students, the teacher said he was “tired” speaking to them.

Lashley said it was a completely different story when Broomes was around.

“To my mind usually when the principal comes, there is an area called the ghetto people just clear out, they literally ran,” he recounted. (SC)

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