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Edna students, staff tight-lipped in protest

Published:Thursday | August 29, 2019 | 12:00 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer

Scores of students and faculty members of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts gathered at the institution’s Arthur Wint Drive gates yesterday to register concerns about issues gripping the fine arts college.

Mainly dressed in black, and with their mouths covered with tape and handkerchiefs, the roughly 80-strong crowd at times danced, sang, chanted or stood in stone silence using placards to express their concerns. The protest was in the true style of an institution dedicated to the arts.

Some had gathered in opposition to a move by the board to suspend Principal Dr Nicholeen DeGrasse Johnson on Tuesday as a probe continues into allegations of sexual harassment by at least one male lecturer at the school, which The Gleaner made public in a May exposé.

#NoScapegoating, #WeSupportProcess, and #WeSupportOurPrincipal were popular hashtags among the protesters.

Others had gathered, signalling that the students’ rights must be protected and called for a thorough probe into the matter.

“We are done being silent!!! We support our students!,” one placard read.

Others said #WhatAboutTheVictims?, #DoNotChangeTheNarrative, #SayNoToSexua lHarassment.

Student and staff protesters remained tight-lipped, declining to speak with The Gleaner. The only sounds coming from the few uncovered mouths were chants as part of an African-themed performance.

They also sought to involve passing motorists with placards reading “Honk for EDNA!”