The head of the Alexandra School is not the only Broomes some teachers want swept out of that institution. Temporary teacher Roger Broomes, a first cousin of Principal Jeff Broomes believes the separation campaign started against the school’s chief administrator is also targeting him.
He made this known today while giving evidence at the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra today, calling the school’s environment “volatile”. “There were occasions when even though my name is a Broomes I was repeatedly being told ‘but you are a Broomes’, but even in here I don’t know how persons would feel if they were in an environment and they were constantly being referred to as ‘You are the boss boy’ or ‘You are related to he boss’ — it was an uncomfortable feeling,” he said.
“These comments in my opinion were not made in a favorable way, these comments were made in an anti-Broomes sentiment, or in other words the Broomes are not welcomed at the Alexandra School. That is the way I felt, that the Broomes were not welcomed.
“I can’t attest to what they may have said to other persons on staff, but that is the way it panned out and even now as we speak today that is why some members of the teaching staff of the Alexandra School, they enunciated then, and they have proceeded along those lines in that there must be separation of Broomes from the Alexandra School, what more does that say?” he asked. The teacher told the commission the teachers “are not saying that there must be a separation of the head teacher they are saying that they must be a separation of the Broomes”.
He said he also experienced the bad vibes in the staff room, where senior teachers, many of them former students of the school, were territorial. “I am just trying to show you the inferences. When you go into the staff room there is a desk in the staff room that junior teachers fear… You enter the staff room, when you get to the top of a stairs there is a desk very close to the sink at which the most senior teachers and the old scholars teachers sat, a lunch table, and you dare not sit there because you are told in no uncertain terms that you should not be at that table,” he testified.
“Then there is a table at the very back which was known as the back table at which you were told by members of that table that the front table is the table which you have to stay away from. I was told that by Debra Springer who sat at the back table. That was way back in 2004, I started there in 2004. “I am a Broomes and that was made clear in no uncertain terms… I am a Broomes I cannot change my last name. I would not even attempt to change my last name, but I was singled out because of being a Broomes. I am a first cousin of the principal, we are two sister’s children, that is nothing to hide,” he said. (SC)