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Education minister fires Prickly Pole Primary chairman

Published:Wednesday | September 23, 2015 | 7:02 PM
Vinnette Robb-Oddman

Education Minister Ronald Thwaites yesterday terminated the appointment of Vinnette Robb-Oddman as chairman of the Prickly Pole Primary School in Claremont, St Ann.

Robb-Oddman has come under fire for allegedly taking students from the St Ann school to participate in a political protest. The controversy deepened when word came that 11-year-old student, Akella Lewis, who reportedly left the school to participate in the protest, died.

Robb-Oddman has maintained that the schoolgirl did not participate in the protest.

Yesterday, Thwaites wrote to Robb-Oddman notifying her of the termination with immediate effect. In the letter he said he was satisfied that she was "part of a group who disrupted classes at the school and further participated in a demonstration where students from the Prickly Pole School took part".

The education ministry quoted Thwaites as saying that these actions were contrary to the high standards of superintendence required of a school board chairman.

The ministry said that in terminating Robb-Oddman's appointment, Thwaites consulted with the National Council on Education, which had formally nominated her as chairman in accordance with the provision of section78 (3) of the Education Code of Regulations (1980).