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Hampton principal sent on two weeks leave, to seek professional counselling too

Published:Wednesday | January 11, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Principal of the Hampton School Heather Murray (right) smiles as Moravian minister Rupert Clarke (left) is led away from the St Elizabeth Parish Court last Wednesday.

The embattled principal of the St Elizabeth-based Hampton School Heather Murray has been sent on two weeks leave.

The Education Ministry says Murray is also expected to go for professional counselling services given what was described as her recent emotional stress.

At the same time, the school board has been given until January 30 to submit a full report to the Education Ministry on Murray's action outside the St Elizabeth Parish Court last week Wednesday, January 4.

Television footage showed Murray attempting to block the media from taking images of Rupert Clarke, the 64-year-old pastor of the Nazareth Moravian Church charged with having sex with a minor.

IN PHOTO: Heather Murray

She had earlier denied that she attempted to block the media.

In a statement late Wednesday evening, the Education Ministry said Murray will go on leave on Monday.

During the period, she is expected to complete a formal report to the School Board and the Munro and Dickerson Trust about her actions outside the court where she said she had gone to support the wife of the accused pastor.

READ: Hampton principal says sorry 

The Education Minister Ruel Reid and his senior officers met with Murray and members of the Hampton Board today and well as the Munro and Dickerson Trust.

IN PHOTO: Ruel Reid

The Ministry says the principal will finalise her report to the Board and the management will review it and take the necessary action.

During the meeting, members of the board and Murray reportedly had extensive discussions on how her actions were perceived and the concerns raised by members of the public.

Reid said given how Murray’s actions had been interpreted and how the recent controversy had affected her administrative responsibilities, it was imperative that the time off be taken for reflection and completion of her report to the board and the Trustees.