An insecure, opinionated individual who does not respect women.
That’s the unflattering picture of Principal Jeff Broomes his Deputy at the Alexandra School Beverley Neblett-Lashley painted today.
“I think Mr. Broomes does not respect women, and certainly not women who have an independent thought. That is my assessment,” she told the Commission of Enquiry into Alexandra.
The witness, who spent all of today in the witness chair at the Wildey Gymnasium, Garfield Sobers Sports Complex and will return there on Monday, said she respected Broomes but did not think he was worthy of emulation.
“Everybody knows that Mr. Broomes is the principal, but I can’t say that I see him as a role model. I am very much aware that Mr. Broomes is the principal and I try as much as possible to give him the respect that is his due, but I think a leader should be somebody that can command your respect,” she said while responding to questions from the commission’s senior counsel Milton Pierce.
“We have had our issues throughout. Sometimes things get better and then sometimes things get worse.
“When the teachers were away from school during the strike our relationship was professional because obviously we had to run a school in which 30 teachers were missing, so during that time there were no real issues between himself and I … thought that I was helping to push things along. It was only when I said the word … usually, and Mr. Broomes so hates that word, that he just loses it and that’s when I he went off on a tirade.”
The official said she respected Broomes’ position as principal, there was so much she could take from him.
“I will stand up to him, if he says something and I don’t agree I will tell him that I don’t agree. There have been two occasions that I can think of where this was done in public and I was very disappointed in myself for having done that, but usually in our meetings … we will go at it. I have strong views as well as when things to me are not in the interest of the values that we hold to be dear I would say so,” Neblett-Lashley stated.
“Mr. Broomes’ position with me was that I could never disagree in a staff meeting with anything that he said. I needed to come to his office and say if I have a problem with a particular thing and that has never been my experience… I have seen people openly state their opinion in an open forum and not take it personally because these are professional discussions.” (SC)