A cloud of suspicion is hanging over the leadership of a prominent Corporate Area high school because of its handling of allegations of sexual assault of a minor on the grounds of the institution by a male member of staff.
The staff member, who is supposedly in his 50s, is accused of carrying out the act while the little girl was awaiting a family member several months ago.
The Jamaica Observer was reliably informed that the man was dismissed by the principal shortly after the incident was reported, but was subsequently rehired. Following a report to the police, however, the alleged perpetrator was nabbed while at a funeral in October last year.
The Observer was told that the man was to face questioning in relation to the allegations. The Observer was, however, stonewalled by the St Andrew Central police and the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse when the newspaper sought to verify the status of those investigations on Tuesday.
In the meantime, a well-placed source told the Observer that several members of staff are displeased with the approach of the principal to the incident which, they allege, was not reported to the education ministry by him. Questions are also being raised over his decision to rehire the accused individual, despite the nature of the allegations.
The Observer was told that there are other reports of sexual harassment by the individual in question, which have not been addressed by the school.
Attempts by the Observer to contact the principal of the school on Tuesday were unsuccessful. An education ministry official, responding to questions from the Observer, promised to verify whether any report on the matter was placed with the ministry.
â€“ Alicia Dunkley-Willis