The Principal of Belmopan Comprehensive High School, Maria Hutchinson has been placed on administrative leave. Jahmor Lopez, the Principal Education Officer for the Cayo District also sits on the board of the school. He told Love News via phone that the administrative leave for Hutchinson is just part of an ongoing process.
Jahmor Lopez Principal Education Officer: “The board has placed the principal on administrative leave. This is a normal procedure that can be initiated by the managing authority which is the board or if for example the administrator, the Principal had received some report that warrants of some investigation. In this case it is the board and it’s the Principal so the board took action and the Principal is currently on administrative leave. The procedure is that an investigation will be conducted while she is on administrative leave, if the findings from the investigation reveal that there is anything that the board can levy a charge, a charge will be levied, the evidence will be turned over to the Acting Principal and she will be invited to a hearing with or without an agent to answer to those charges and so it’s simply procedural. She is innocent until proven guilty . The reason why she is on administrative leave is to ensure that the investigative process is done in a fair manner without any sort of intimidation, without any form of tainting so to speak. While I am the Ministry of Education Representative, I am just one member of the board. It’s the collective entity that makes decision.”
Jose Sanchez: “So are you looking it at something in regards to the finances of the school of for example?
Jahmor Lopez Principal Education Officer: “As I mention in terms of the investigation, it is on going. It would premature and very irresponsible off me to speculate and so I will have to wait for the findings or the board will have to wait for the findings and then depending on what is presented then we will go from there. All that I can say is that the board had received some information and based on the discussion that they had etc. they figured that it was best to place the principal on administrative leave to follow due process to ensure that there is natural justice and that is what we are doing at this point in time.”
Until the investigation is complete, the acting Principal for Belmopan Comprehensive High School is Molly Guzman.