Past students charge 'coup' by church group against Merl Grove High principal
...urge Chaplain Dr Peter Garth to intervene in crisisTuesday, September 14, 2021
Past students of Merl Grove High have urged the Rev Dr Peter Garth, 30-year chaplain of the school and head of the Associated Gospel Assemblies which operates the school, to intervene in the crisis sparked by events there, leading to the suspension of Principal Dr Marjorie Fullerton.
Following is the text of their letter to Dr Garth, a former chairman and education director of the Merl Grove Board:
On behalf of the joint Past Students' Association of the Merl Grove High School and the Parent Teachers Association, we are alarmed to learn of the suspension of the school's Principal Dr Marjorie Fullerton, following her taking a well-deserved summer break from August 16th – September 3rd 2021.
Following a three-hour-long impasse at an emergency meeting convened by Board Chairman Mr David Hall, a drafted motion was tabled for her suspension effective September 10, 2021, citing sections of the Education Act of 1980.
It was interesting to learn that all members of the board of management who are also members of the Associated Gospel Assemblies (AGA) voted in support of the motion. This vote came after agenda items, to include the principal's presentation to clarify matters raised, were discussed. However, the members of the AGA did not consider her responses worthy of consideration. We note the manner in which the chairman consistently disregarded the presentation of the principal by regularly speaking over her during the meeting.
We note that the other board members who represent the local chapter of the past students association, the parent teachers association and the community representative objected to the motion and the actions taken by the board. Also of interest is how hurriedly the motion was tabled, read and voted on in unison by members of the AGA. This clearly indicates that this was a pre-conceived and well-orchestrated coup against the principal by the AGA members.
The chairman did not allow any discussion by non-members of the AGA. As such, those members indicated to the board chairman that, in principle, the board had not taken any prior action by way of due process, and that the manner in which they proceeded with the tabling and voting to pass the motion be considered unconstitutional and a breach of natural and procedural justice.
Our PSA chapters have been following recent incidents at the school and had requested a meeting with the chairman who, after scheduling a meeting on August 31, 2021 @ 6:00 pm, declined his attendance and participation approximately one hour prior to the commencement of that scheduled meeting. We believe that this action on the part of the chairman was intentional, knowing that plans were in place to oust the principal at the meeting on Thursday September 9, 2021 at 6:00 pm.
Given the current challenges being experienced worldwide, in particular our beloved country and our school, we express our concerns with the psychological effects these recent actions may have on the students, teaching and ancillary members of the campus. We note also that the student representative or her proxy was absent from the meeting.
As major stakeholders of our noble institution, we invite your urgent response and intervention in this matter towards an amicable resolution.
This letter is being submitted under the signatures of:
Simone M Thomas (Ms.) for MGHS joint PSA committee
President, Parent Teachers Association
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