Whenever Matthew Farley is out of the news for any extended period, he stage manages a set of circumstances to catapult himself into the headlines. His latest headline grabbing stunt was the suspension of 265 students ostensibly for uniform infringements. Nine chances out of ten, when mass suspensions of school children hit the news; you can be assured that this little megalomaniac, Matthew Farley is the protagonist taking the bows.
One must wonder why is it that of all the 21 government secondary schools principals, only Farley resorts to these extreme tactics. Could it be that he is looking to make a name for himself at the expense of these children abusing them in the process?
Farley is right about one thing: rules must be obeyed. Unfortunately, too often those in authority behave as though rules apply to everyone else. Rules are not only in place for students, there are rules to regulate the conduct of principals as well. And since this principal is such a stickler for adherence to the rules that govern others, you would expect that he follows the letter and spirit of the rules that apply to him zealously. After the news of the suspensions broke, he was a caller on Brass Tacks discussing the issue. That along with his regular appearances as a moderator leaves me to wonder if he is complying with the Code of Conduct and Ethics for the Public Service, particularly paragraph 24 which states:
24. Officers shall not
(a) be editors of any newspaper or directly or indirectly take part in the management of newspapers;
(b) contribute to any newspapers in Barbados or elsewhere on questions that can properly be called political or administrative, but may furnish articles upon subjects of general interest;
(c) make a statement to the media or allow themselves to be interviewed on questions of public policy or on matters affecting the defence, military resources or diplomatic relations of Barbados with the prior approval of the Minister concerned;
(d) make public or communicate to the media or cause to be made public or to be communicated to the media or to unauthorized persons, any documents, papers or information which may come into their possession in their official capacity or make private copies of those documents of papers;
(e) give broadcast talks or engage in any discussion that is being broadcast on any subject that may properly be regarded as of a political or administrative nature, without the prior permission of the Minister concerned; or
(f) disclose or produce in evidence any official document of a confidential character in any court of law without obtaining the previous permission of the Minister.
If Farley wants to enforce the rules, it is only reasonable to expect that he leads by example following the rules that are laid down for him. For his sake, I sincerely hope that he has obtained permission from the Minister for his constant appearances on radio where he discusses matters that seem to conflict with his role as a civil servant otherwise he would not only be a megalomaniac but a hypocrite as well.
By the way, it is within my certain knowledge that the Ministry of Education mandated changing hem lines from two inches above the knee to two inches below because two little girls got pregnant for teachers. Rather than punish the teachers, the Ministry blamed the little girls for putting temptation in the teachers’ way and ordered the hem lines of all girls down.