News

Petition for Murray's dismissal hits 500 signatures

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 | 2:06 PM    

Print this page Email A Friend!


KINGSTON, Jamaica — The online petition that was launched calling for the dismissal of Hampton High School principal, Heather Murray, hit 500 signatures a short while ago.

The call for dismissal was as a result of her decision to attend a court session in the case of a minister of religion who is accused of sexually molesting a 15-year-old girl.

In an apology from Murray, she had admitted to signing documents relating to clergyman Rupert Clarke’s move to secure bail.

Clarke, a Manchester-based pastor, was recently charged with rape and having sexual knowledge of a person under 16.  He was last Wednesday grated bail in the sum of J$800,000 when he appeared in the St Elizabeth Parish Court.


Initially, Murray said in a statement that she was at the bail hearing to provide moral support to the pastor’s wife, who she described as her friend.

However, social media users and at least one politician have called for her removal as headmaster of the all-girls institution.

Last Friday, Councillor for the Trafalgar Division in South East St Andrew, the People's National Party’s (PNP) Kari Douglas called for Murray to resign or be fired from the post.

The group responsible for the online petition, Jamaicans United Against Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, called on Education Minister Ruel Reid, the minister with responsibility for gender affairs Olivia Grange, Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison, and the Board of Trustees of Hampton School to immediately dismiss the principal.

They urged the authorities “…to act swiftly - Summa virtue et humanitate - to restore the people's trust in leaders of institutions of learning, leaders of the church and above all the Government of Jamaica's ability to protect and provide peace of mind and safety…”

In the meantime, Reid is expected to meet today with administrators of the Hampton School for girls.

Speaking this morning at a press briefing at Jamaica House, Reid was guarded when asked about the tone of the discussion is expected to take.

"At the end of the day when matters impact the leadership and governance of an education institution I have to be held accountable and in that regard persons who preside over institutions have to be accountable to the minister.  There have been a lot of public discussion on the matter and I feel that, as the (education) minister, I need to have a discussion and give some direction as to the way forward," he told journalists.

The petition is expected to be delivered to the education minister, Grange and Gordon Harrison.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Do you agree with the Government's move to spend £410,000 to promote Jamaica at the 2017 London World Championships?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT