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Hampton principal, board chairman called to meeting with minister - Call made for public apology

Published:Friday | January 6, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Principal of the Hampton School Heather Murray has come under extreme pressure from the public, stakeholders and social media for appearing at the bail hearing of 64-year-old Rupert Clarke, the pastor charged with having sex with a minor.

Yesterday, both Murray and chairman of the Hampton school board Trevor Blake were summoned to a meeting with Minister of Education, Youth and Information Ruel Reid.

The meeting is expected to take place in the upcoming week.


Poor judgement


In speaking with The Gleaner, child-rights advocate and founder of Hear the Children's Cry Betty-Ann Blaine called on Murray to make a public apology for her appearance at the hearing.

"She exercised poor judgement and as the principal of a school, I believe that she now has the responsibility to apologise to her students at Hampton and perhaps to all the children of this country."

But former Minister of Education and clergyman Ronald Thwaites said that Murray is woman of sterling virtues and the act was born of friendship.

He told The Gleaner: "I believe that she did exactly the right thing. Mrs Murray is a very principled, religious woman who would denounce any act such as the one the gentleman is charged with. She has a long record of defending and educating all her girls well. I can't speak to the appropriateness of any action or gesture that she did. I didn't see it, but without speaking to her, my own knowledge of her and her principles would lead me to say that she immediately would reach out to victim and to perpetrator in actions of healing."

President of the Jamaica Association of Principals of Secondary Schools David Wilson was not available for a comment when The Gleaner tried to reach him.