A disgruntled imani trainee is accusing her supervisor of failing to come to her assistance when called upon to intervene in a matter of what she dubbed unfair dismissal, because she refused to agree to sexual favors requested of her by the supervisor.
Rena Thomas speaking to Grenada Informer two weeks ago said she was drafted into the Imani programme in July of 2014. She started as a Physical Education teacher at the Florida Government School in December of 2014, however for reasons unknown, she was taken off the programme and sent home without pay.
Thomas said she took her case to her supervisor but after weeks of empty promises with little or no progress, and with her continuing to remain on the breadline she decided to take her case to a different level. She however started by asking herself what was the reason for her supervisor’s laid back approach to what she considered a serious concern. Her deduction, she said astonished her.
Thomas said after looking at the situation from all angles she came to one conclusion, that her refusal to comply with sexual requests by the supervisor was the reason for his action.
She went on to say she had never had an intimate relationship with her supervisor; however their conversations did not speak well to supervisor-trainee relation. In addition she said, based on her conversations with the supervisor she concluded that in order for him to be there for you, or seek your interest he must have sex with you.
The sacked trainee said she had known the supervisor by sight for a number of years but after getting to know him personally, she said, she realized that with him, everything comes with a cost. She went on to say she was invited on several occasions to sleep at his home and although she would have led the conversation at times, she had to in order to get to know better, who her supervisor really was, and in some instants get him to back down, but according to her, backing down was not his forte he was just ever persistent.
Thomas said prior to getting placement, she was involved in some life skills training, her supervisor being one of the tutors, but she just could not pass by without him harassing her sexually. Thomas said she had questioned the level of professionalism of the supervisor in whose hands was placed such serious responsibility.
To justify her claim against the supervisor, Thomas revealed months of whatsapp conversation she had been having with her supervisor, some she said also included the exchange of pictures of body parts that had to be deleted for fear that her young child who frequents her phone would have seen them.
Informer later spoke to the accused supervisor. He denied getting intimate with trainees and sending images of body parts. He later called back to say he knew of one trainee that would claim such a thing.
The supervisor admitted that although he might have gone over the line with some of his comments, some trainees come on to him. He went on to say that he has no say in the hiring or firing of any trainee but listens to every concern that comes to him. However in this case, the supervisor said the particular trainee was dismissed because she was accused of having drugs in her possession during a cricket game at the national stadium. This situation he said warrants automatic dismissal, but noted that the trainee was called in and the matter discussed at the highest level before any decision was taken.
Informer also spoke with a senior public servant in the Ministry of Sports with direct responsibility for the Imani programme and he admitted full knowledge of both the accusation against the supervisor and issue surrounding the dismissal of a trainee for drug related issues at the Grenada National Stadium.
Meanwhile before this paper went to press Informer had another discussion with Thomas and she claimed that charges brought against her had never reached the court because her accusers could not substantiate their claim.