2019-05-15

Cone of silence prevails in aftermath of news about Bayview principal’s past conduct

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN, PHOTO</p><p>Lamar Eason, pictured in June 2018, while working for the former local school board, speaks in Bridgewater about kids and technology.</p>

Education officials are maintaining a cone of silence in the wake of a Halifax law firm's independent probe that found Bayview Community School's principal Lamar Eason, bullied, harassed and tracked Pentz Elementary School principal Rebecca Smart.

The investigation by McInnes Cooper showed Eason violated the South Shore Regional Centre for Education (SSRCE)'s Respectful Workplace Policy multiple times, according to documents obtained by CKBW Radio.

LighthouseNOW reached Eason on his cell phone around 9 a.m. May 8 but he indicated he wasn't able to talk right away because students were arriving and suggested a call-back after 3:30 p.m. when school was done for the day. A message left by LighthouseNOW at 3:36 p.m. was not returned. There was also no response to an email sent to him at 3:43 p.m. that day.

Paul Ash, SSRCE's executive director, isn't responding to the article published by LighthouseNOW and CKBW Radio, saying it's a human resources matter. "Our response to any inquiries related to this story is that these are HR issues and we cannot comment," Ash said in an email.

After the story published, it's believed the SSRCE launched its own investigation into potential breaches of confidentiality policies.

Meanwhile, the Bayview Home and School Association was "dismayed to see some of the story" published after being told by Ash "that the matter had been concluded to SSRCE's satisfaction."

The article "is not in the best interests of the students at Bayview," Kara Turner, the association's chairwoman, told LighthouseNOW in an email. "We are very happy with the work Mr. Eason has done so far at Bayview."

A spokeswoman for the province's Department of Education said deputy minister Cathy Montreuil won't be responding to the story. "This is a Regional HR matter and we must respect the confidentiality of the parties involved," Chrissy Matheson told LighthouseNOW in an email.

It's unclear if any action has been taken against Eason or if all of the complaints have been investigated. Eason is still listed as principal at Bayview, in Mahone Bay.

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