Teachers at the Sister Mary Patricia Russell Jr. High School on Grand Bahama staged a protest on Monday against current working conditions at the school. The teachers say that the school’s principal, Ms. Pinder, needs training or she has to go.
Martha Edgecombe of the Bahamas Educators Counsellors and Allied Workers Union spoke with ZNS news about the teacher’s concerns. She said, “our executive members decided to come on campus, speak with our members to try to get an understanding of what actually took place this morning but when they showed up the gates were locked. So we had no entry on the campus, the members on the campus had no exit off the campus because not that the gate was closed it was physically locked with the chain and the padlock.”
Edgecombe went further stating, “there are many teachers on this campus who are struggling a suffering right now because of the hands of the principal on campus. And so when you listen to members and they are saying what their issues are and they are crying tears are rolling down their eyes. When you listened to members and they’re saying that they feel mentally drained and challenged, those are issues.”
One of the protesting teachers explains how she has been treated poorly by the school’s principal since she accidently omitted her name while giving the vote of thanks at an event. Cindy Lewis said, “ever since then it has been just harassment on a constant basis. I would do my best to avoid her, stay in my classroom, do my job. Yet, she would go out of her way to walk into my classroom while I have students in the front of me and hand me written letters. She would have since given me two letters stating that I was delinquent in my duties.”
Lewis also said, “it really has gotten too far because we have teachers, for example, in my case I’ve already been out for the week simply because of anxiety, simply being here is affecting my mental health and I’m sure there are several other teacher who are suffering as well. And it simply just needs to stop.”