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Education minister intervenes in Cumberland High issue

www.jamaicaobserver.com

EDUCATION Minister Senator Ruel Reid is to meet with the new board chair of Cumberland High School in St Catherine in the wake of the recent incident between the principal and a female student that has cast a dark shadow over the school.

The school, which is no stranger to controversy, was thrust into the spotlight on Monday following an incident in which a 15-year-old grade nine student threw a stone into the back winshield of the principal’s car after she was reportedly reprimanded for being disobedient and disrespectful. The incident was since left the staff feeling fearful and unsettled, which has resulted in a disruption of normal activities at the school.

The ministry of education, in a release yesterday, said that it has summoned the board chairman to a meeting to discuss the way forward.

The ministry also indicated that it has received a preliminary report on the incident from Principal Michael Brydson on Monday.

“The preliminary report indicates that among other things, the principal used a piece of stick to hit one female Grade 9 student as well as the throwing of a stone, allegedly by the student, which damaged the rear windshield of the principal’s vehicle,” the ministry said.

Additionally, the ministry reported that a thorough investigation is being done by several entities, including the police and the Office of the Children’s Advocate, to determine the facts of the case and to ensure that the rule of law is upheld.

Meanwhile, an immediate increase of security personnel at the high school has been approved by the ministry, which said it is fully aware of the lack of perimeter fencing at a section of the school although commitment was given to the school from 2016 for the erecting of the fencing.