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Following the confusion over the selection and appointment of the Principal of the Cumberland High School, demand has been raised that the present Board of Management of the school is replaced by a new one. This demand has been placed by Robert Miller, the caretaker MP of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) for St. Catherine South Eastern. He has added that this is not an issue of politics but one of appreciation for Darien Henry, who is the right candidate for the job of the Principal. The present school management tried to thwart his appointment by rejecting his candidature.
PM Had to Intervene in the Appointment
To shed light on the background of this issue; Cumberland High School recently had to appoint a new Principal. Darien Henry had been doing a great job as the acting Principal for two years bringing in some welcome changes in the way the school functioned. The students, faculty, and even the parents appreciated the good work done by Mr. Henry and he should have been the automatic choice for confirmation as the Principal. The management of the Cumberland School, led by the Chairman of the Board, Samuel Chambers, however, overlooked Mr. Henry and was ready to appoint someone else as the next Principal. Mr. Miller claims that he had to take the matter to the attention of Prime Minister Andrew Holness following a public outcry over this development. The PM then intervened and Mr. Henry has since been confirmed as the Principal, settling the matter for now.
Miller Demands Change in the Management
The argument being put forth by Mr. Miller is that the incident showed that the current management led by Mr. Chambers has lost its moral authority to govern the school and must be replaced by a fresh set of officials to make up the Board of Management. Interestingly, the Parents-Teachers Association at the Cumberland High School appears to be publicly expressing their support to Principal Darien Henry. The Association President has made a statement to the media to this effect and there are reports that some parents had even threatened to remove their children from the school and put them in some other institution if Mr. Henry was not made the Principal.