Education ministry intervenes in Glenmuir Prep dispute

BY KIMONE FRANCIS
Observer staff reporter
francisk@jamaicaobserver.cm

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!


THE Ministry of Education has intervened in the dispute involving administrators at Glenmuir Preparatory School in Clarendon and parent Juliet Johnson-Clarke, after the woman was asked to withdraw her son from the institution.

Permanent secretary in the ministry, Dean-Roy Bernard, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that Glenmuir Prep is registered with the ministry's Independent Schools Unit and that the division has been asked to do an investigation and to report to him on its findings to substantiate the complaint, after which corrective measures will follow.

“I know that at the level of the region, a report has been requested as well. So that will be swift to my hand. There's also interaction with the parent of the child as well, and the parent is aware of what we are doing on the matter.

Johnson-Clarke, in yesterday's Observer front-page story, said that her seven-year-old son was being bullied by another student at the ministry's region six institution.

Several complaints were made, she said, and several meetings held to address the matter.

In a letter addressed to her from the school, she was told to withdraw her son in the interest and preservation of the school's name, as well as to safeguard him from undue stress and anxiety.

“On November 9, [2018] a quorum of the board invited me to a meeting and the writer of that withdrawal letter, Father [Winston] Thomas, said that he was recommending that I withdraw my son since he had suffered so much trauma. I told him in no uncertain terms that withdrawal was not an option because my child has done nothing wrong — he has made friends, he's comfortable and he's doing well.

“He said to me that they had come up with a strategy to deal with the bully and asked me to stay my hand in terms of legal action until I hear from them in December, so that they could implement and assess the efficacy of the strategy or the intervention. So I have been waiting, and today (January 3) I got that letter. I think it's very disingenuous to be saying that because I threatened legal action when I was asked and agreed not to pursue any legal action until I have got feedback. I have only got this letter which is tantamount to expulsion,” said Johnson-Clarke.

The mother said that her son has been kicked in the chest, slapped in the face and wounded by the other child.

“...I won't say that the principal has failed to act, but I will say that if he has acted it has failed to change anything,” the woman said.

Johnson-Clarke learnt of the incidents after taking her son to see a counsellor. She noted that this was when he shared what was happening to him at school.

The school's board chair Winsome Singh said that the parties involved met and that the matter was thought to have been settled.

“I've spoken with that person already — myself, the principal and Father Thomas. So I don't know what else she expects of us. Either the child is not going to be staying in there or whatever, because she told us, 'Yes it has got much better and whatever',” said Singh.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


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

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT