I did all I could, says principal


Alexandra Principal Jeff Broomes.

Principal of the Alexandra School Jeff Broomes thinks he has done his best to help heal rifts at the institution, rifts he said had worsened since industrial action by a number of teachers in January.

But the official said his efforts to institute a more comprehensive plan following the completion 2010 Inspection Report had been halted because he was awaiting further instructions from the Chief Education Officer.

Broomes addressed the issue as he responded to questions from attorney-at-law Guyson Mayers on his fifth day in the witness chair at the Wildey Gymnasium, Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.

“I would suggest to you that I tried to do all that I could do… We met and I went through things with him (the Chief Education Officer), and I tried to implement them at the school… I have done as much as I could possibly do,” he told the commission.

Broomes said he had been instructed to hold off proceeding further by the ministry official until there was further discussion within the ministry, but that the chief education officer never got back to him on the matter.

When asked by Mayers if he thought the status quo of the rift remained in light of his evidence, Broomes said: “I think we have gotten worse because of the industrial action and I honestly mean that.”

“I honestly believe that there can be improvement … but I can only give my suggestions. I am not suggesting that I have any panacea.” Mayers also asked the principal if he thought he had done his best to heal rifts.

He responded: “My best has not been followed through on… I am saying that if I tried to do something and my superior told me to hold on it … I will hold on it and I have held on it… I think a number of things have happened since then.”

Broomes also said he had done his best to institute adequate systems of communication at the school, including logging all mail that came to the school, facilitating all staff meetings, establishing a school website to help disseminate information, and utilising more information communication technology internally.

He said if such measures had not worked as he intended it was not his fault.

“Anybody that wants to block a system can block it…. You can take somebody to the river but you can’t make them drink. All of the systems are in place,” he testified. (SC)

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