MANCHESTER, Jamaica -- A small number of parents staged a protest at the gate of the Bellefield High School in Manchester on Wednesday calling for the principal, whom they claim is under investigation by the Ministry of Education, to go on leave until the matter is resolved.
The investigation, the placard-bearing protestors said, resulted from the “mismanagement” of funds being used to operate the school canteen.
“We believe that she should stay off the job until that investigation is closed,” said Jean Brown vice president of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA).
Brown, who was with three other parents on the scene when the Jamaica Observer visited, said among other concerns about the principal’s leadership is the frequency with which she calls the police to the school regarding issues with student, instead of using internal resolution systems.
The protestors also took issue with what they claim is the high cost of meals at the school and the principal’s “dictatorial approach in meetings”.
Meanwhile Councillor Donovan Mitchell (PNP-Royal Flat Division) and Chairman of the Finance Committee on the Bellefield High School board said that he had been in a lengthy meeting at the Ministry of Education head office in Kingston on Tuesday regarding the investigations of the canteen funds.
Clara Stewart, Chairman of the School Board since June said that she could not make a judgement about whether or not the principal should take leave while the matter is being investigated but hoped the situation is resolved in an “amicable” matter.