The following communication was distributed to several parties and needs no explanation – Barbados Underground
I know that you would be surprised by receiving emails from me. […]
My name is Caswell Franklyn. I am a trade unionist representing your teacher, Mr. Wismar Gibson, who was unceremoniously kicked off the school’s premises by the Principal, Dr. David Browne, on Wednesday, November 18, 2015.
This message is intended to set the facts straight with respect to his absence from school since that date, and also to dispel some very disturbing untruths that are being circulated which students at your level would recognise for what they are. Mr. Gibson’s absence from school is not his fault. He is being punished for refusing to be bullied into doing the wrong thing.
1 – Prior to returning to Queen’s College in September 2014, Mr. Gibson worked in a vacant teaching post at Christ Church Foundation School. He applied and was interviewed for an advertised vacant teaching post at Queen’s College.
2 – He was hired during the summer vacation and started teaching at QC in September, 2014. In October after school started Mr. Gibson was presented with another temporary teaching contract to which he objected given that he was informed at the interview, by the chairman of the interviewing panel Mr. Nadur, that it was a permanent job. He wrote to the ministry that this was unacceptable and continued teaching for that entire school year. This year after teaching you for two months in this term, the school’s administration came back with another temporary contract. He refused to accept that temporary contract as well since it was not what he applied for.
3 – As a result, the school’s administration attempted to bully Mr. Gibson into accepting the contract which is illegal and unfair. You know Mr. Gibson encourages you to stand up for what is right – he did as he teaches. For defending himself, he was thrown off the compound like a common criminal by Dr. Browne. He did not throw the teacher who was carrying on a relationship with a student off the compound with such indecent haste.
4 – Mr. Gibson turned up for work on Wednesday, 18 November as normal; did registration and form prayers; and while going to teach a class at 9:00 a.m. was told to see the Principal immediately at which time he was told that he was being put off the premises by the Principal for refusing to accept an illegal contract. He was not even given the opportunity to say good bye to his students or to return corrected work to them; nor was the work he left for you given out.
5 – Mr. Gibson has an unblemished teaching career of fifteen years. He is the holder of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literatures in English and Linguistics, a Diploma in Education (Teaching of English), a Certificate in General Management and a Certificate in Industrial Relations (with Distinction).
6 – Mr. Gibson did not choose to be away from classes during this time. You are well aware that his attendance record is almost perfect. He did not miss any classes for the term, despite (for two years in a row) having an extremely high teaching timetable. You are well aware that even on occasions when he is ill, contrary to my advice, turns up and teaches your classes.
7 – You are well aware of the fact that every single class you have ever had with Mr. Gibson over the last two years was rewarding and productive. I am told by Mr. Gibson that 27 out of 29 of you received a grade 1 in English A last year after Mr. Gibson worked with you in fourth form. It is my understanding that no other fourth form has surpassed or equaled this record in the last examination cycle. I am also informed that 75 % of Mr. Gibson’s Communication Studies students scored a grade 1, compared to a school average of 43%. Maybe that is why he was not given a Communication Studies group this year. This temporarily appointed teacher’s results were making the permanently appointed ones look bad.
8 – You must use your reasoning skills to decide why it was so necessary to remove Mr. Gibson from a job he is very good at and loves to do. He did nothing wrong unless you consider standing up for your rights to be wrong. You should ask yourselves why you are being punished by being deprived of teaching because Mr. Gibson stood up to bullies, rather than take the advice of the Principal who suggested that he should lay low and let things work out. And to add insult to injury, they refused to pay Mr. Gibson his salary for this month.
9 – I hope this clarifies matters.