If you thought that the recent Combermere stink had ended, think again.
In fact, following claims of deliberate sabotage levelled by Minister of Education Ronald Jones earlier this week, the head of the school’s History Department, Anglican priest Reverend Charles Morris, Friday cautioned that much more was currently at play at the Waterford, St Michael school.
In fact, the words he used were “attempted murder” to describe the earlier report by Jones that two natural gas pipes in one of the Science labs had been left on for about 45 minutes after a class.
Jones made the revelation in Parliament this week where he also revealed that hand towels and children’s book leaves were found to be blocking a drainage pipe from a toilet.
“These incidents served to exacerbate anxiety, fuel uninformed speculation, and, at times, despite the diligent effort to find solutions, complicate attempts to assess those issues attributed to the plant,” Jones said, while assuring that those incidents had now been “put to bed”.
However, Morris suggested that the problem was even more serious than what Jones described, as he revealed that the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) had recently been called in to investigate “death threats” reportedly made against one Science teacher.
Morris also said that the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union (BSTU) officials, the victim’s lawyers and principal Vere Parris had met and discussed the allegations in recent weeks with the most recent discussions taking place last week.
He also reported that keys to the Science Department has been missing for an extended period of time but said management was yet to change the locks and the doors to the building.
“Keys were missing for months now, they have not been found, their locks have not been changed, the door has not been changed so if we are going to say sabotage it could very well be. It means that somebody would have gone in there and turned on the gas,” said Morris, in expressing personal alarm.
“What they are saying is sabotage could very well be attempted murder, given all that is going on in the entire department,” he added while telling Barbados TODAY that the morale of the teaching staff was at an all-time low and that the school was simply “going from one bad state to another”.
The outspoken teacher also questioned the silence of parents in light of the Jones’ latest mouthings.
“All of this should send a message to parents that if it is sabotage then it is a clear indication that there is to some degree of unsafety at Combermere School,” he said, adding that “if I had a child here at Combermere School and somebody told me that there was sabotage then I would fear for the life of my child, and therefore I would have to do something about that as a parent but somehow we talk about sabotage and still the parents have not conveyed any actions indicating about the safety of their children.”
When contacted Friday night, BSTU Mary Redman said she was not aware of any death threats towards a Combermere teacher, adding that recent visits were to discuss other matters affecting the school. [email protected]