Chairman of the Board of Hampton High, Trevor Blake, has apologized to Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid.
Mr. Blake is apologizing for his suggestion that he did not agree with a recommendation by Minister Reid that Hampton Principal, Heather Murray go on two weeks leave.
Shortly after a meeting between the Board, Mrs. Murray and Minister Reid last month, Mr. Blake issued a statement to the media and strongly refuted a suggestion by the Education Ministry.
Blake denied he and the Board had agreed to the recommendation for Murray to take leave. But a day later, our news center disclosed minutes of the meeting where the decision was taken.
The minutes revealed that Mr. Blake had agreed to Mrs. Murray taking leave amidst controversy surrounding her actions at the bail hearing of accused child rapist and Pastor, Rupert Clarke.
In a letter dated February 3, Mr. Blake told the Education Minister that he withdraws his statement to the media on January 11 where he refuted the Minister Reid’s account of the meeting.
The Hampton Board Chairman also wrote that he apologizes for issuing the statement to the media.
Mr. Blake told Minister Reid that he’s “humbled by the opportunity” to serve as Board Chairman.
Attempts to contact Mr. Blake via phone went to voicemail.
In the meantime, it’s uncertain whether the Hampton School Board and Principal Murray will remain beyond the end of next month.
In a statement yesterday, Education Minister, Ruel Reid, said he’s to discuss with the Chairman of the Munro and Dickinson Trust, Dr. Brian Morgan, the constitution of the board going forward.
The statement follows a meeting on Saturday with Minister Reid, Principal Murray and the Hampton School Board.
According to the statement, the board members also apologized to Minister Reid.
It says they acknowledged that no independent investigation was done to verify the conduct of Mrs. Murray, separate from the account she had given.
The statement says Minister Reid reminded board members that they were accountable to him as set out in the Education Act and the Education Regulation of 1980.
It says Minister Reid reiterated that the matter regarding Murray was ‘not handled with transparency by the board’.
Minister Reid says it was made to appear that there was contention between the board members and himself.
Minister Reid also reportedly pointed out that a legal advisor to the board was not a member, and so for them to have inserted a lawyer into a board meeting was a breach under the Education Regulation.
Mrs. Murray is currently serving as Principal post-retirement. Her contract comes to an end on March 31.
It’s understood that her tenure is unlikely to be extended.
The tenure of Mr. Blake and the rest of the Hampton Board will also be subject to review on April 1. Separately, Nationwide News understands that Minister Reid has mandated that the Education and Finance Ministries be consulted before the tenure of all principals who are serving beyond their retirement is extended.