Hampton principal sent on leave
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Hampton School Principal Heather Murray is being sent on two weeks' leave as of January 16, for her actions outside the St Elizabeth Parish Court last week, when she attended the arraignment for Moravian Minister Rupert Clarke who has been charged with the rape and carnal abuse of a 15-year-old girl from the parish.
Education minister Senator Ruel Reid made the announcement in a release a short while ago.
The decision was taken at a meeting called by Senator Reid, with senior ministry officers, Murray, members of the Hampton School board, and the Munro and Dickerson Trust at the ministry's head office at National Heroes' Circle today.
Reid said, given how Murray’s actions were interpreted and the controversy having affected her administrative responsibilities, the time off was necessary "for reflection and completion of her report to the board and the trustees".
Stemming from the meeting, Murray also sent out a statement apologising for her behaviour. Reports are that she blocked television cameras, which were filming outside the courthouse.
"She is expected to complete a formal report to the school board and the Munro and Dickerson Trust about her actions outside the court where she said she had gone to support a friend, who is the wife of man accused of sexual abuse, " the ministry release said.
In the meantime the school board has been given until January 30, to submit a full report to the ministry on the actions of the principal.
"Mrs Murray is also expected to avail herself of professional counselling services given what was described as her recent emotional stress. The principal will finalise her report to the board and the management will review and take action as necessary," the ministry said.
The statement also said that during the meeting, members of the board and Murray had extensive discussions on how her actions were perceived and the concerns raised by the public.