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In an article in the last SUNDAY SUN headlined Concern Over Principal In BUT Race, a number of very baseless concerns were raised about the right and suitability of Everton Briggs, principal of St Bernard’s Primary School, to be a candidate in the race to be president of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT).
It alleged concerns over Briggs’ candidacy for the following reasons: he is a principal; he was appointed since Karen Best became chief education officer, and he served on the executive when Best was president.
The third concern I will use to repudiate the concern that Briggs is a principal. For ten years prior to September 2012, the BUT’s president, Best, was the principal of a school. Additionally, the general secretary of the BUT, who is being returned to that office unopposed, is a principal and has been for the past five years.
The second concern has wide-reaching implications and would serve to disqualify or eliminate over 1 000 people who were appointed since Best became chief education officer. This would include 749 teachers, 215 senior teachers, 19 deputy principals in secondary schools, about 60 principals in the primary school system, and 15 in the secondary school system. Briggs is not the only candidate in this election appointed to a substantive post since Best became chief.
The third concern is particularly ludicrous since the incumbent president, the general secretary and several other BUT executive committee members also served on the executive when Best was president.
Find meaningful concerns to raise in any attempt to disqualify a candidate, not nonsensical rhetoric and baseless propaganda.
– DR COLIN CUMBERBATCH, principal, St Stephen’s Primary