The Principal of Hampton School, Heather Murray, says she will be showing up at school this morning.
This, despite an announcement last Thursday by Education Minister, Ruel Reid, that she’ll go on two weeks’ leave as of today.
Mrs. Murray, through her attorney, has written Minister Reid and other stakeholders informing them that she’ll not go on any leave.
Minister Reid’s announcement that Mrs. Murray will go on two week’s leave, starting today, followed a meeting with her last week. The Chairman of Hampton’s Board and others, were present at the meeting.
The meeting was held after Mrs. Murray was heavily criticised for her behaviour at the bail hearing of Moravian Pastor, Rupert Clarke, who’s charged with having sex with a 15-year-old girl. But Mrs. Murray now says she’ll be attending school today to continue her normal duties as principal.
In a letter to Chairman of Hampton’s Board, Trevor Blake, Murray through her attorney, says she never agreed to Minister Reid’s recommendation to take time off.
The letter is dated last Saturday, January 14. Nationwide News has seen a copy of it.
It’s copied to Minister Reid, the Jamaica Teachers’ Association and Chief Education Officer, Dr. Grace McLean, among others.
She says she submitted a report about her actions, on January 5, to the Education Ministry’s Region 5 office. But Mrs. Murray says Mr. Blake told Minister Reid he hadn’t received that report.
She describes last week’s meeting as ‘informal’. She says Minister Reid recommended for her to go on leave.
Mrs. Murray says the Education Minister asked her to complete her report during her time off.
She says the school’s board met on January 12 to discuss her actions outside of the St. Elizabeth Parish Court.
She says both herself and her attorney were asked to excuse themselves from that meeting.
Mrs. Murray says she was informed via an e-mail from Mr. Blake on January 13, that the school board would accept her apology, and would take no further action against her.
In an interview last week on Nationwide This Morning, Minister Reid said Mrs. Murray felt like she needed counselling. But Mrs. Murray says she does not need any time off from work.
Minister Reid said the leave that was to be taken by her was not a disciplinary action, but a matter of compassion.
This, as he said she conceded she was under ‘a lot of stress and pressure’.