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Aug 7, 2017

Dr. Lorna McKay battles to stay on as principal of Gwen Liz High

It was named for Belize’s first woman parliamentarian and Education Minister, and is located in the constituency of current Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Patrick Faber. But with just a few weeks to go before the start of classes, Gwen Lizarraga High School could see its principal, Dr. Lorna McKay, forced out. This afternoon she was visited at her office by Board Chairman Roosevelt Blades with a letter announcing that she was immediately on administrative leave, and police were called when Dr. McKay refused to hand over her keys and clear out her office at Blades’ order. The principal, an educator of over three decades’ experience, says she will stay put until she receives legal advice as well as that of the Belize National Teachers’ Union. But after years of remaining silent, she made pointed statements today about Blades’ handling of his duties with the Government-managed institution.

 

Dr. Lorna McKay, Principal, Gwen Lizarraga High School

Dr. Lorna McKay

“Mr. Blades walked into my office, and gave me a letter signed by him – no CC to Ministry, Commission or anybody telling me that I have been placed on administrative leave and I asked him why. He said that I can either be an easy way or a hard way and then I told him sir I will not move from here…I haven’t had a meeting with you nor the board. We haven’t met to discuss this and I will call the union and I will call the media and he said I will call the police to take you off the compound and he did call the police.”

 

Reporter

“However they stood down?”

 

Dr. Lorna McKay

“I don’t think the police, somebody spoke to the police and they went. It is something that he had done before. I think it is victimization, I think it is bullying and because I do not condone some of the foolishness that he is doing and I don’t work with him in that capacity where he wants to just want to dictate to what you do at the school and what happened so far even the teachers are at a low as far their morale is concerned. This has been an ongoing process; it is something that has been happening for years. Quite a lot of bullying, quite a lot of intimidation tactics, shouted at being shouted art being disrespected and stuff like that. I am tired of it and I have sought legal advice and I have called my union.”

 

Reporter

“Now what is the basis of all this? Why…you said being shouted at, you are a veteran educator I am sure with over 30 years…”

 

Dr. Lorna McKay

“I am very humble too, I am very, very humble and I probably took very long to react to what Mr. Blades has been doing to me, the chairman has been doing to me. But I have been very humble and tried my best to have worked…even though it has been frustrating at times, very frustrating.”

 

The matter has also been reported to the Ministry of Education for investigation.

 

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