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Embattled Hampton principal summoned by school board executive committee

Published:Friday | January 6, 2017 | 12:35 PM
Principal of the Hampton School Heather Murray (right) smiles as Moravian minister Rupert Clarke (left) is led away from the St Elizabeth Parish Court Wednesday.

Damion Mitchell, Integration Editor

The executive committee of the Board of the Hampton School in St Elizabeth is to meet with the embattled principal Heather Murray over her conduct at the bail hearing of the Manchester-based pastor on sex charges.

Murray has been the subject of intense social media pressure since Wednesday when she appeared at the bail hearing of 64-year-old Rupert Clarke, the pastor charged with having sex with a minor.

She is also reported to have attempted to block The Gleaner photographer from taking images of the accused pastor while he was being led from the courthouse.

The chairman of board of the Hampton School Trevor Blake said the board held talks with Murray yesterday raising concern about the reports that she had sought to block media representatives and he said she denied interfering with journalists.


Board chairman of Hampton School Trevor Blake

Repeated efforts to contact Murray have not been successful.

Last night she issued a statement seeking to explain why she attended the court but said nothing about her attempt to block reporters from taking images of the pastor.

READ: I did it for his wife ... Why the Hampton principal attended bail hearing 

Murray said she went to the court in support of the wife of the pastor.

According to Murray, she and the pastor’s wife have been close friends since the 1960s.

Blake said he understands Murray’s reason for attending the bail hearing and had no problem given that the pastor’s wife was "too devastated" to show up.

But Blake said in hindsight, it was an error of judgement for the principal of the all-girls school to have attended.

He says he is concerned that Murray’s court attendance and reported attempt to have blocked the media may have brought the school into disrepute.

That’s why the executive committee of the board will now be meeting with the principal to determine a way forward.


Board chairman of Hampton School Trevor Blake

In the meantime, Blake says he will advise Murray not to return to court on February 13 when Clarke, now on bail in the sum of $800,000 is scheduled to return.