Wed | Jun 26, 2019

Lecturer says Edna Manley’s sex predator affected hundreds

Published:Monday | May 27, 2019 | 1:06 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer
The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, located on Arthur Wint Drive in Kingston.
The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, located on Arthur Wint Drive in Kingston.

WESTERN BUREAU:

A male lecturer at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts is reporting that for well over a decade, one of his colleagues has been engaged in sexually predatory behaviour against students and has had hundreds of victims.

Yesterday, The Sunday Gleaner quoted several female students who said they had been targeted by the professor but their complaints were being covered up.

The school administration also reported that an investigation has been launched into the allegations.

“Many of my students have come to me about the same lecturer,” said a professor who requested anonymity. “He has affected hundreds and hundreds of students in the visual arts school, and he has a history and a reputation for holding back grades and putting down students in front of the class,” said the source.

Another male lecturer gave a similar account.

The professor said that two years ago, his students wrote letters to the management of the institution, but those letters have disappeared.

He said some went further by speaking with board members but gave up, acknowledging that the school’s leaders seemed to have accepted the educator’s behaviour.

ACCEPTED NORM

“The sexual harassment and, in some cases, assault has continued because the school’s hierarchy allows it to happen,” the professor said, adding that on many occasions, he was told that the lecturer’s behaviour was an accepted norm in the Jamaican culture.

Gender specialist Nadeen Spence condemned that claim.

“It is abhorrent behaviour,” she said. “Along with the sexual abuse of minors, there is preying on older adolescents. They wait until they are 16 and 17 even though they know they are not able to negotiate sex,” argued Spence, citing a reason to increase the age of consent from 16 to 18.