Sabotage denied by deputy principal

Allegations of efforts to sabotage Principal of the Alexandra School Jeff Broomes when he got the job in 2002 have been dismissed by the woman against whom the claim was made.

The school’s Deputy Principal Beverley Neblett-Lashley today admitted that she was “disappointed” that Broomes was appointed to the post she also applied for, but said she had done all she could from then until now to ensure she was no obstacle to the principal.

She was giving evidence at the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra, which continued at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.

“I am human and I was disappointed that I did not get the job. I, however, have a very deep faith and my faith tells me that I am exactly where I am suppose to be,” she said.

“God has some work for me to do in that position and certainly I would never do anything that would cause chaos in the school that I love so dearly.”

The witness also told the commission that she “read somewhere” that there was a suggestion by Broomes that when he was appointed 10 years ago she “up and left” because she didn’t get the job.

“I needed to make it clear that my application for leave was made nearly 12 months in advance,” she said.

“Mr. Broomes is experienced in the Barbadian educational system, he has worked with the unions, he understands well the process and there is no way that I could have sent an application into the Ministry (of Education) within weeks and be granted permission to have leave.

“To the best of my knowledge I was on leave but I was in Barbados. There was a function organised for Mr. Broomes and the staff who was there welcomed him with open arms. That is not to suggest that he may not have felt that my not being there put him at some kind of disadvantage…, but it certainly is mischievous, I think, to suggest that I left because he had been given the job,” she testified.

Neblett-Lashley also said while she was away for four years, which were spent overseas, all roads always led back to Alexandra.

“I have left the school on many occasions for higher position or to go elsewhere, I always come back to my school because I love my school and I have no apology for saying that,” she said.

She was concerned that while she deliberately gave Broomes space to do his job, he remained insecure.

“That is a consistent theme … he keeps reminding me, sometimes he puts it in bold (writing), you are the deputy principal, you are not the principal, and things of that nature. So yes I would say that I have been constantly reminded about that,” she said.

“I feel uncomfortable because I have no designs on Mr. Broomes’ job, I actually had to say that to him in writing because I personally feel that there is a certain level of insecurity because I am able to interact well with the management team.

“He (Broomes) would like to make that seem a negative, these are people with whom I have worked for over 20 years, before I became the deputy principal I was in the classroom working with these people. “I don’t know because I have become deputy principal I should stop having civil relations with my colleagues. He has seen that as a threat in my opinion, Sir.” (SC)

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