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Principal of the Fancy Government School, Colbert Bowens. (IWN photo)
Principal of the Fancy Government School, Colbert Bowens. (IWN photo)
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The St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union (SVGTU) on Monday called upon the Public Service Commission to reinstate, with immediate effect, the principal against whom charges in relation to the January 2015 death of the seven students at Rock Gutter were dropped several months ago.

The union said that Colbert Bowens should be reinstated to his post as principal of the Fancy Government School.

Following the Rock Gutter incident of the Jan. 12, 2015, Bowens was among three persons charged on Nov. 11, 2015 in connection with the death of seven students.

However, on May 4, 2016, he was cleared of all charges.

“Since the date of the charges against him, Mr. Bowens continues to be suspended from his post despite being cleared of all charges on the 4th May, 2016,” the union said in a statement on Monday, the beginning of the new academic year.

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“The SVGTU regards the continued suspension of Mr. Bowens as a grave travesty of justice of the most egregious kind. It is unfair in all of the realms of natural justice to continue to punish Mr. Bowens for crimes which he did not commit and for which he was duly cleared by the laws of the state.

“The SVGTU condemns in the strongest terms any further persecution of Mr. Bowens and reiterates the call to reinstate him with immediate effect, with all of the benefits intact,” the union said.

Bowens, along with fellow Fancy residents Ehud Myers, a 67-year-old pastor; and Davanan Nanton, a 36-year-old chauffeur, were jointly charged with by omission causing the death of Racquel Ashton, Chanstacia Stay, Glenroy Michael, Jamall and Jamalie Edwards, Simonique Ballantyne and Anique Alexander.

The seven students died when a minivan in which they were travelling careened down a steep hill and plunged into the sea at Rock Gutter on Jan. 12, 2015.

The charges against Bowens were dropped at the beginning of the preliminary inquiry.

Bowens is said to be a trustee of the church that owned the minibus, while Nanton was the driver and Myers the conductor on the day of the tragedy.

2 replies on “Union calls for reinstatement of head teacher freed of Rock Gutter charges”

  1. Let’s see if the Union has people with balls. They should go out on strike if the teacher is not reinstated. Let the people go after the government when their children keep missing classes. For those ULP teachers who don’t support this strike, they should be banned from the Union.

  2. Give Ralph and his vindictive, dishonest and illegal government 3 days to reinstate the teacher. Failure to do so should result in action the following week. Ralph will have a hard time replacing teachers like he did with the customs workers. This is the step the teachers’ Union should have taken for those teachers who contested the election and lost. They should also include the names of these people as well.
    He must be dragged to the table, screaming and kicking to discuss this issue, or Vincentians will see their children suffer. The Union should not back down. Let those arse kissers see how justice can be achieved by any means necessary. Let’s see if the people will put Ralph and his lemmings above their children. Ironically, I won’t be surprise if they do. This is all Labour Love!

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