Suspended Merl Grove principal gets teacher support ahead of today's hearingTuesday, September 21, 2021
Ahead of today's much-anticipated hearing, suspended principal of Merl Grove High School Dr Marjorie Fullerton has received the support of important stakeholders — a group of teachers, including the acting vice-principal of the upper school, who describe themselves as “hard-working, honest and dedicated”.
Fullerton was suspended on September 10, 2021 by the school board, accused of actions which allegedly impacted the institution adversely and led to unrest among staff, the upshot of a bitter impasse involving the principal — supported by past students and the Parent-Teacher Association — and the vice-principal for the lower school, Loretta Ricketts, who is backed by church-appointed board members and some members of staff.
“These allegations [against Dr Fullerton] are unprecedented, false, unfair, unjust, and unethical towards our principal. These members of staff who are defaming the character of the principal are afraid to be held accountable in their roles and responsibilities as educators,” the teachers declared in a lengthy testimonial sent to the minister of education.
“Their common dislike and disregard for the office of the principal has provided them with a common interest in attempting to harass the principal out of her job, a job that she has earned with her qualifications, expertise and her experiences,” the teachers said.
“This is as a result of laziness, jealousy, lack of respect, greed, over-ambition and the lack of morals. We will not, in any way, entertain, promote, or ignore the assassination of Dr Fullerton's character and her office,” the group said in the testimonial.
The group of 12 teachers include Michael Dryden, whose tenure as acting vice-principal, the Merl Grove Past Students' Association said, is also threatened, charging that he had become a victim of those opposing the principal because of his support for her.
“Please note that the allegations being made about Dr Marjorie Fullerton are being promoted by members of staff and members of the board who have been known to have personal grouses with the principal and her principles to achieve excellence among students and staff,” the group said.
They described Dr Fullerton as a transformational leader who embraces the Ministry of Education's mantra “Every Child Can Learn, Every Child Must Learn”, saying her “unconditional love, mercy, and guidance had provided opportunities for growth” among the students and teachers.
“Dr Fullerton has always worked hand-in-hand with her past students from across the world to provide funding for students personally and collectively. She is known as a 'mother figure' to her students and staff, which speaks to her overwhelming love and care for them,” they said.
Today's hearing is being stoutly opposed by the Joint Committee of the Merl Grove High School Past Students Associations which comprises Canada, the United States, and Jamaica, who have called for the reinstatement of Dr Fullerton.
They also charge that the panellists who will conduct the hearing were the same ones who voted to suspend the principal and would not be able to provide her a fair and dispassionate hearing, without which justice could not be done.