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Rural High Comments on Recent Teacher Sick-out

Yesterday, we told you about five teachers from Belize Rural High School who called in sick and students were subsequently sent home. We went to Double Head Cabbage to see what was the situation on the ground, and the only people who talked to us were some of the concerned parents.  One parent said the issue had to do with a child’s hairstyle.  Today, we tried getting a comment from the school and were given the runaround.  A press release  followed and rather than stating with clarity what the problem is, the release cryptically states that “we can now inform you that the purpose of this sick-out is because of a high level of abdication via the doctrine of ultra vires by the present Chairperson of our Board of Management.”  It is quite a mouthful of air to swallow but in essence, what it means is that someone is acting outside their legal scope of powers.  We managed to get in contact with a senior official at the school who then informed us that they are not happy with some of the actions from the Board of Directors. In particular, after the Chairlady reportedly refuses to meet with the staff and principal of the school to discuss various issues. The source noted that they had planned to stage the sick out from Tuesday and executed it on Wednesday. Our source also told us that there are four main issues that the staff of the school is not happy with. Those four are; the non-approval of the school’s budget, the school calendar not being approved, a student attending school with long hair contrary to school policies and the reluctance from Board to meet with staff and administration for over a year. It was noted that without the school’s budget and calendar not being confirmed the school cannot begin to do its part. It was stated that the Chairlady of the Board has sent them a letter saying that a meeting will be held on Monday.