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Prime Minister Briceno supports ousted principal, endorses women’s group stand

Posted: Sunday, February 18, 2024. 3:50 pm CST.

By Horace Palacio: In a move that has captured national attention, Prime Minister John Briceno has publicly backed Jamie Lee Usher, the former principal of Belize High School who was recently ousted from her position. The Prime Minister’s endorsement came after the People’s United Party (PUP) United Women’s Group issued a press release in support of Usher, a move that sparked debate given its involvement in what is predominantly viewed as a private school’s internal affair.

The PUP United Women’s Group’s decision to take a stand on Usher’s ousting raised eyebrows across political and educational circles, highlighting the unusual step of a political entity intervening in private educational matters. However, Prime Minister Briceno clarified that the group acted independently, emphasizing that their statement was not a party-wide decision but rather an initiative by the women’s group alone.

“I don’t think it is a matter of because it has anything to do with the chairman of the party,” Briceno stated, addressing concerns about potential political motivations behind the support for Usher. He praised the former principal’s exceptional contribution to the school and her efforts to enhance educational opportunities for students. “Ms. Jamie Lee Usher has been an exceptional principal… full of energy, always pushing for the children, and finding avenues [for] exciting things for them,” the Prime Minister remarked, acknowledging Usher’s positive impact on Belize’s educational landscape.

As the situation continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how this public endorsement will affect the ongoing discussions around governance and autonomy within private educational institutions in Belize.

 

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