Cumberland High – Gunmen Coming to School, Undisciplined Students

Cumberland High School
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Portmore, St. Catherine (McN) – According to sources, the third form student at the center of the Cumberland High School unrest, is alleging that the principal, Michael Brydson beat her badly with a stick, leaving her with bruising and severe pain, which interfered with her ability to walk properly.

News reports are that on Friday the April 7, a female student was disciplined for breaking school rules, and later threw a rock into the back of principal Brydson’s vehicle, breaking the glass.

In one news report it is stated that the teacher hit the student with a ruler. Sources say that the student reacted in violence towards the principal and then threw a rock into his  Suzuki Vitara vehicle, smashing a large hole in the back windshield.

Teachers and staff at the Cumberland High School in Portmore have vehemently denied the allegations that the principal beat the student mercilessly. They say he is a good man who loves the children and is at times very lenient with them.

Portmore Schools Sign Pact to Improve Students’ Behaviour

Principal Michael Brydson, has been involved in steering the student to a more productive life; in 2004 he and the school signed a pact to improve students behaviour. However, this may not have lasted long, as just this past November, student and teachers flew into panic when gunmen allegedly entered the school in search for students.

Cumberland High, Michael Brydson forth left at the back, while Chief Education Officer, Grace McLean is at right. The signing took place at the Portmore HEART Academy in St. Catherine on February 14. 2014 (JIS)

In the November 2016 incident, students took cover in the school offices saying that they saw gunmen on the roof of the school, the police and Hawkeye security were called in to swarm the premise and protect the students. The alleged gunmen were supposedly at the school in search of certain students, after the murder of another student one week earlier.

Speaking in Tongues and Getting in Spirit

The principal Michael Brydson told reporters that minutes before the gunmen showed up, some girls (students) were gathered near the offices, speaking in tongues and getting in “the spirit,” like they were at church, after which the gunmen allegedly disappeared.

Student’s Parent Went to the Cumberland High School with Posse 

In the new onset of incidents, the third form female student accompanied by her parents and a posse of persons, on Monday assembled on the school ground and hurled verbal threats at teachers and the principal.

The teachers immediately went into a sit-in, refusing to continue work, causing disruption of classes which continued into Tuesday for the second consecutive day. The teachers are protesting against the blatant undisciplined students at the school.

Vice Principal of Cumberland High School, Maureen Nelson highlighted lack of parenting, as the main cause of the students issues.

“One of the biggest challenges is parenting. It’s almost 9:30 and look at that students walking in. School starts at 8 and with lack of parenting and strong leadership techniques we are in trouble. I know one day these crime in the society would affect the society. When we look at the students most of them have lost a parent or both parents to criminality and it leaves a devastating impact on them,” Nelson pointed out.

On Tuesday Director of Safety and Security in Schools in the Ministry of Education, Coleridge Minto; the ministry’s regional director Patrice Supria; and Member of Parliament Colin Fagan were locked in meetings with the school heads and teacher.

Ruddy Mathison main photo (Gleaner)

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