Students cried as board tried to sabotage their examination.
PHILIPSBURG:--- An RN teacher at NIPA Farrah Busby Richardson had to face police on Tuesday whose students were taking their final examinations in order to graduate.
Police showed up at the school when they were called by the chairman of the supervisory board Antonio Aventurin to escort the teacher out of the school because she submitted her resignation letter to the school stating that her resignation goes into effect as of July 8th after her students finalize their examination on July 7th.
According to information provided to SMN News when police reached the school, they met with Aventurin and was asked why he wanted the teacher removed, after given full explanation police informed Aventurin that he has no grounds to remove the teacher from the school and they left.
The situation on Tuesday created a huge turmoil for the students that were busy taking their examinations, some even called their parents, one parent even went to NIPA screaming saying that the board of NIPA is busy ruining her child’s examination. Besides that, the students that were busy writing their examinations began crying in their classrooms and they see the action of the supervisory board as a way of victimizing them because they spoke to the media.
RN teacher Farrah Busby Richardson told SMN News that she decided to resign because the atmosphere at NIPA had become increasingly toxic and that the culture of victimization is not conducive to her professional development. Busby Richardson further stated that it was her intention to move on at the end of the academic year, however, her intense concern was the well-being of her students.
In an interview with SMN News Busby Richardson said that she is the only teacher that stood up to the board, she said on the day the former director Ms. Maccow was fired, the director called her to her office after she was being bullied. Busby-Richardson said when she reached the director’s office the Chairman of the Supervisory Board basically pushed the door on her and she pushed back the door at him then continued to slam the door. She said the managed to give Ms. Maccow the needed support and escort her out of the compound without her being harmed. “Mr. Aventurin was walking too close to Ms. Maccow and I had to get in between them and get Ms. Maccow out of the school compound safely. Mr. Aventurin was really pushy and I had to intervene.”
Busby Richardson said that shortly after that the chairman of the board summoned her to a meeting told her that she ought to respect him and his decisions and asked her if she knew that he had just fired the director. She said she informed the director that respect ought to be given and also earned by those persons who want it. Busby- Richardson said that the main contention of the supervisory board is that she did not stop her students from speaking to SMN News and she made it clear to Aventurin that she will not infringe on the democratic rights of her students as there is still freedom of speech on St. Maarten. She said since then Aventurin stopped greeting the students. She said that another teacher Ms. Illidge also indicated to the board and another teacher that (she Illidge) will not interfere with the student’s democracy. Busby- Richardson said that a parent filed a complaint with the social worker about a group chat among the students. She said that Aventurin then said the parent filed a complaint against her but that was proven to be another false accusation. She said she contacted her lawyer and she also spoke to the social worker who spoke to the parent which she taped. In that recording the social worker was heard telling Busby- Richardson that no parent filed any complaint against her and most of all she informed the parent that she could not do anything about a group chat that took place on a Saturday and not on the school compound. In a letter, the students wrote to the board they gave detailed information on their WhatsApp group chat which they said contained adult content.
Busby said that on Monday she submitted the resignation letter, to Mr. Aventurin who was refusing to take the letter prior to Monday.
Busby- Richardson said on Tuesday that after school the students left the school and they went to the media including SMN News. She said that she wrote a report on the current adjunct director who was not performing his duties well. She said since then things began going downwards, she said one of their main contentions is that her students are her main concern and because of those students she is teaching at NIPA. She said the board is on a mission to divide and conquer and they do not want the teachers to have any kind of bond with the students.
Busby-Richardson said when the Inspector from the Department went to the school most of the teachers remained quiet due to fear of victimization she said she and another male teacher spoke out.
Busby- Richardson is a certified nurse, she also holds a master’s degree in public health and studied medicine for three years. The RN teacher said that the only thing she did not complete was her residency as a Medical Doctor because she would have had to leave her young daughter for two years.
The students supplied SMN News with a letter they wrote in support of their teacher that resigned or victimized by the supervisory board.
SMN News contacted Minister of EYS Silveria Jacobs who said she could not comment on what happened on Tuesday and that she is awaiting a report from NIPA before she could comment.
In the meantime, the Inspectorate of Education was informed but they did not go to the school to investigate but instead contacted the adjunct director who told them a whole different story as to why police visited the school.
While the chairman of the board Antonio Aventurin though Attorney at Law Peggy Ann Brandon denied calling police at the school, he is yet to explain why two police officers went to NIPA and requested to speak with him.
While Police was called at the institution to remove Busby- Richardson and the board claimed that the teacher knew she could not enter the school on Tuesday they did not give her any letter barring her from the school. However, around 4:30 pm on Tuesday Busby-Richardson received and email informing her that she does not need to go back at the school since she submitted her resignation and that the examination will continue under the guidance of the supervisory board. Busby- Richardson said that the board stated that they will mark the student's examination papers in order for them to graduate if they scored well.
While the members of the Supervisory Board states that they will mark the student's examination papers it should be made clear that not one of the board members has a degree in healthcare, neither were they present in any of the RN classes. Most of all they did not prepare the examination paper for the students.
In previous statements, the board and the Minister of Education said that the teachers were evaluated all of which has been refuted by at least two teachers. Busby Richardson said last year she got an evaluation by an Inspector from the Inspectorate of Education, she said during that evaluation the former director was present and she scored highly. Busby- Richardson said she even signed off on that evaluation but since then no other evaluation was conducted. She said at the moment her lawyer is in contact with the school board and their lawyers and certainly, she will take the board to court.
Below the text of an email that Busby Richardson wrote about the adjunct director and defective examination papers. The email was sent to the former directors Patricia Lourens, Tasheena Maccow Thomas and Garfield Seargeant.
I'm writing to bring to your attention a series of unfortunate and unexplained events that took place this week, with respect to my examinations:
1. I came in on my off day Monday to review and print the exams that were allegedly vetted by an exam committee. Mr. Sergeant relayed to me an email sent by this committee asking me to make certain changes to items that needed no changes in actuality, e.g: assign points to my exam, when my points were clearly assigned on the exam and cover page. The committee's suggestions also included a change in NIPA's format of the examination cover page. Basically, their email was disregarded because their suggestions were already covered from the beginning. Obviously they did not review anything.
2. Tuesdays Interaction exam was printed lacking two pages and I had to leave the examination room to reprint 25 copies of the missing pages. (I suggest hiring extra administrative help or letting the Instructors assist with printing). Reminder: I came in on my off day to do this but was informed that no assistance was needed.
3. Today's Basic Care exam was a total disaster. Not only were the exams not printed causing a 20 minute delay but the exam was defective. I gave Mrs. Maccow a copy of the defective exam along with a copy of what I submitted originally. I Boldly outlined the errors in the defective exam, which were: - Questions were removed completely although the numbering and lines for the answers were visible. - 10+ questions were repeated on several pages. I literally had to read the missing question out loud to the students and have the write it in. The students were very confused and distressed by this.
This could have been avoided completely, had I been able to review and print my own exams on Monday, when I came in to do just that. Or, if the exams are printed in a timely fashion and compared to the originals.
In my opinion, these events could either be unfortunate mishaps or (more disturbingly) intentional sabotage. I do not want to jump to conclusions or assign blame to anyone but this can jeopardize and negatively reflect my competence and professionalism, and may also cast the institution in a negative light.
There is a distinct lack of transparency and organization in the way certain matters are handled by the school. The absence of timely communication is generally eroding morale and motivation. For example: I asked Mr. Sergeant to let me know if my services will be needed next semester and if so, what my schedule looked like in order for me to have a head start in preparing the lectures. Mr. Sargeant told me we need to have a conversation first and he gave me a brief glimpse of the preliminary schedule. In addition, my contract ends this week, am I suppose to guess my next working day and show up to work not knowing if my contract was renewed? Everything seems to be top secret where these issues are concerned. I am a very straight forward person and for me transparency is key.
I came to NIPA to make a positive contribution and I have devoted myself to the success of my students. I have invested extra time and personal financial resources numerous times to ensure this. These students are our future gatekeepers and may hold our lives and that of our loved ones in their hands at some point in the future. Hence, my frustration with the events of this week. I would like to urge more team work and cooperation to achieve the objective of producing competent and qualified nurses or professionals in general, that should be the main focus.
Hoping this email is received as positively and constructively as it is sent.
Farrah Busby- Richardson
RESPONSE FROM ATTORNEY PEGGY ANN BRANDON FORMER BOARD MEMBER OF NIPA AND NOW ATTORNEY FOR THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NIPA SUPERVISORY BOARD
Today you published an article suggesting that the AVE Board, through its Chairman Mr. Aventurin commissioned the local Police to have a teacher removed. Whilst it is your right to publish any story provided to you, it is not permitted to have a story containing accusations towards AVE and it chairman, which could have easily been verified. The AVE Board at no time requested the assistance of the Police today and as such was not the entity that called the Police in. Through this article enormous effort is once again made to place with one person blame, in a continuous effort to tarnish and harm.
You have not invited AVE to react to the allegations, but have published the story as if factual. You are herewith requested in so far summoned to retract the publication, and/or in any event rectify the incorrect information set forth in your publication. Failure to do so will result in litigation.
EDITORS NOTE: SMN NEWS contacted the Minister of EYS Silveria Jacobs who said she would have to Supervisory Board of NIPA send a reaction on the events that transpired at the school on Tuesday. Besides, that SMN News tried on several other occasions to contact Antonio Aventurin who refused to pick up his telephone. It is, however, questioning that Attorney Brandon was a member of the NIPA board and she resigned and today is representing said board, while she is the President of COCI a stakeholder that is supporting NIPA.