The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts is making a formal request this afternoon for a meeting with the institution’s board.
The College is expressing disappointment in the board’s request for the principal, Dr. Nicholeen Degrasse-Johnson to go on leave.
Dr. Degrasse-Johnson has faced criticism recently for her handling of allegations of sexual harassment at the institution.
The school made the request in a detailed letter to the board this morning following a meeting with students.
Staff and students at the fine arts institution gathered under a Lignum Vitae tree some time before 9:00 this morning to discuss their concerns stemming from the allegations of sexual harassment.
Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force were also present.
The police were reportedly told that there would’ve been a protest on the campus. However, Director of Marketing and Communications, Colleen Douglas, says this was not true.
Ms. Douglas says she found it hurtful that they had to find out through the media that the school’s leader was being asked to go on leave.
She’s describing the move by the board as disruptive and hurtful.
The staff members say they only found out during a report on Nationwide News yesterday that the Principal was being asked to go on leave.
Ms. Douglas questioned why the Principal was being asked to go leave at this time.
Other staff members at the meeting also expressed disappointment that information coming out of board meetings was being leaked to the media before the school community was informed.
Meanwhile, Lecturer at the school, Owen ‘Blacka’ Ellis says he believes the Principal is being treated unfairly by the board.
He says Dr. Degrasse-Johnson has been doing her best to address the allegations of sexual harassment.
The College community will also be requesting a town hall with the board to discuss their concerns.