Tue | Jan 31, 2023

Cornwall College principal assaulted - Mother demands answers on son’s 10-day suspension

Published:Thursday | November 14, 2019 | 12:31 AMAdrian Frater/News Editor


The principal of Cornwall College was allegedly forced to ditch his jacket yesterday as an irate woman tried to force him to provide an explanation for the suspension of her son.

The dispute escalated when the mother got into a tussle with security guards who tried to forcefully remove her from the compound.

While repeated attempts to get the principal, Michael Ellis’, account of the incident failed, as repeated calls to his cellular phone went unanswered, the mother admitted to grabbing his jacket.

According to the woman, she went to the Montego Bay-based school to get an explanation as to why her 15-year-old son, who is a grade 10 student, had been suspended for 10 days without the school making any contact with her about any disciplinary issues with him.

In seeking to give insight into what might have led to her son’s suspension, she claimed that two teachers, one with whom her son had a longstanding issue, tried to lure him into an isolated classroom and he refused. She said her son instead went to the main office, where one of the teachers accosted him and accused him of being disrespectful.

“It is my understanding that the teacher made a report to the principal, who then suspended my son and didn’t make any contact with me. I went there to find out what had caused the suspension, not to make trouble,” the woman said.

According to the woman, when she went to speak to the principal, he refused to entertain her, saying that he would only have dialogue with her after her son’s suspension had run its course.

“He (Ellis) was walking away and I grabbed his jacket, which he backed off in my hands ... I know was wrong to grab his jacket, but I meant no harm ... . I just wanted to talk to him about the situation with my son,” the mother told The Gleaner.

The mother said that after she grabbed the principal’s jacket, she was attacked by two security guards.

“The security guards came and start grabbing me and we got into a tussle ... . My hand even got injured. They were trying to put me off the compound and then the police came. I gave the police my name and left,” said the woman, who subsequently went the Ministry of Education’s Region Four office to report the matter.

The Montego Bay police were not able to say whether a formal complaint was made to them by the principal.