PORTMORE, ST. Catherine: (Nov 20, 2018) Ascot Primary School teacher, Stacey Mansingh Bramwell, 44, has been living in what can best be described as a horror movie, being betrayed by the institution that she dedicated her time, her energy and her health to help grow.
Stacey was almost crippled in an incident at her school. Added to that, she was put on no-pay leave when she was unable to perform her duties. Her tragedy started towards the end of 2013 and over the course of a few years, Stacey went from being a respected member of staff to a pariah when she attempted to pick up the pieces of her life.
On December 12, 2013, Stacey attended a staff meeting, something that she does as per her duties as a teacher. While at the meeting a metal chair on which she was seated collapsed, sending her crashing to the ground. She would find out much later that she had three slip discs in her spine and a pinch nerve in her back; go on to have one unsuccessful surgery to correct the problem; and is scheduled for one more which she can’t afford.
“Pain riveted from my tailbone and I was unable to get up. The pain was so excruciating my teeth started hitting against each other while I tried desperately not to cry in front of the entire staff, of which some found it quite funny,” Stacey recalled.
She managed to regain her composure and while there were no physical signs of injuries she was feeling intense pain in her back and belly bottom. After the meeting, she spoke to the principal, Mark Jackson, about what plans are in place for teachers when there are accidents on the compound. “He told me nothing existed and I should move on,” she said.
Two days later by December 14, 2013, the pain got so intense that she was rushed to doctor where she was given an injection and other medication for the pain. The pain medications were not working despite the high dosage. Stacey’s trouble only got worse as the medication would cause organ damage. The more medications she took to sort out one problem another one would pop up. To get some respite from the pain, Stacey had to take heavy dosages of drugs, which made her drowsy.
She had submitted an incident report to the School’s chairman, Rev. Novel Wilson, and the principal Mark Jackson giving details of the accident, highlighting her pain and suffering, and querying what the ministry had in place for such mishaps. Both men said they needed more medical information which was done.
Mr. Jackson refused to forward the report to the Ministry of Education claiming that he had misplaced them then he said he was protecting himself. On January 10, 2014 copies of the same doctor’s report were again given to both principal and chairman.
Stacey would eventually report the principal to the Education Ministry for his inaction but found herself the target for revenge. She was reprimanded for not carrying out some duties too difficult to perform due to the pain. Correspondents from the ministry that came to the school for her were held up at the Principal’s Office until days before the deadline. She was removed from a class she had raised money to fix to suit her method of teaching and sent to a class room which walls were made from ply. After a while she began to get asthma attacks in the class.
Stacey, who had just remarried at the time of the fall, is for the most part unable to take care of her family. “My duties at home got difficult to perform and my husband could no longer manage to do things on his own. I had to seek the help from a household assistant which was now an added expense.
“I want to be normal again…I want my life back! I cry a lot…pray a lot. Sometimes I feel like running away…going far from everyone but I can’t do that to them,” she said.
Attorney-at-law Charles ‘Advoket’ Ganga-Singh has recently been contracted to assist Stacey in seeking redress.