Dear Mr. Meade:
I greet you with the utmost respect that a young person can have for an individual such as yourself in a privileged position of power, respect and influence.
First and foremost, I told myself that I wasn’t going to address this issue but that I would leave it up to the authorities to take the rightful steps to ensure that our students are protected and have a safe environment in which they can learn and develop. Secondly, I was hoping that the issue would bring youth and youth leaders to the fore and they would see it as an opportunity to champion a cause for which the entire nation needed to show concern.
My comments themselves do not stem from the original article which made several rounds on social media, talk media and/or websites but rather from a DNO article which published your thoughts on the matter. And for this reason, I must speak… to borrow a quote from a popular 2014 calypso. From the minute I read the article and your comments on the matter, my heart was pricked to respond. It is not my wish to judge your reasons for such a stance however, I must wonder about a few things:
- What is the due diligence process established at the Dominica State College when issues of sexual misconduct arise?
- Isn’t an initial investigation by the Chairman of the board, in this instance, and a consultation among board members necessary before a matter such as this can be “swept under the rug?”
- Is there a code of conduct or a code of ethics established by the board as it relates to relations between school officials and students?
- What’s the primary role of the institution as it relates to allegations of sexual misconduct? Is it the protection of students or the support to employees?
- What effect will your personal stance, as you have yet to consult the board on the matter but having publicly addressed it in media, have on the reputation of the institution?
- Will this issue further contribute to what most people think is the moral decay of our general population, more importantly among the youth population?
I am not saying that Dr. Peters is in any way culpable but there should be some form of internal investigations by the Board or some independent committee as this is a serious ethical issue. I also think that an investigation would go a long way in restoring Dr. Peters’ reputation if he is indeed innocent of the charges laid out against him in the initial article. A lot of people are of the impression that this is a serious matter, although they won’t publicly voice their concern, so the repercussions can be more damaging if it is addressed in an ad hoc manner.
This is even more damaging to someone who may want to come across to report some issue that they suffered for fear of it being dismissed before due process has been followed. I urge you to rethink your earlier thoughts and do the necessary as it relates to the information relayed in the original article.
I do pray that my open letter is received in the manner in which it is meant, that is, with the best intentions as it relates to both the safety of students at the Dominica State College and any other learning institution on our Nature Island, as well as the restoration of the image of institution and the persons involved in this unfortunate situation.
Delroy Nesta Williams