St Andrew High board livid over Ruel Reid's comments
The board of St Andrew High School for Girls has taken Education Minister Ruel Reid to task for accusing the institution of corruption and extortion.
"That the minister should choose to malign the character of our hard-working principal and committed board members by referring to them as corrupt and as extortionists cannot be overlooked or taken lightly. These persons, who the minister has said he is 'going after', have freely given of their time, talent and resources to the growth and development of this noble institution which is highly respected nationally and internationally," the school board said in a release on Friday.
Reid's comments came on Wednesday at a post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.
"The board of management considers it most unfortunate that no communication was made with the school's administration prior to the minister's pronouncements in the media," the release said.
According to the board, the school has been accused of using creative means to demand payments from parents in contravention of the ministry's policy.
However, the board points out that as an institution owned by the Church, every effort is made to uphold moral and ethical values.
"It appears that a letter reminding parents that they had not yet provided the voluntary financial support requested from them is the source of the minister's conclusion that the school's administration is corrupt and that they are attempting to extort funds from the parents," the board said.
It says the letter forms a part of the end-of-year report package, which also includes an explanation to parents of the school's operational expenses and the funds required to meet them. The school-support contribution of $29,000 per year was approved by the ministry.
Reid has since retracted comments he made about that and other schools.