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Commissioner Slams CHS Teacher For ‘Inappropriate Dress’ During Zoom Class

KINGSHILL — The Virgin Islands Department of Education was made aware of a photo circulating on social media of an employee inappropriately dressed while holding virtual classes with students at the St. Croix Central High School today.

The Department of Education denounces the actions of the employee and has acted swiftly in the following ways:

• The employee has been removed from teaching while an investigation is underway
• The employee has been denied any further access to Department-owned email and video conferencing accounts that allow online interaction with students
• An investigative hearing has been scheduled for tomorrow with the employee, union representatives, and Department of Education officials as part of the required due process
• Appropriate further action may be taken as the investigation unfolds

“Our employees are held to the highest standards of decorum and professionalism, and the Department of Education will not condone behaviors that fall outside of these expectations when it comes to any of our staff, particularly our teaching professionals,” Commissioner Racquel Berry-Benjamin said. “Our students’ safety comes first, and we are committed to ensuring their trust is not violated while they are under our care.”

The Department of Education is arranging additional training for faculty on the appropriate dress code for teaching virtually, as well as the proper use of online teaching platforms and the expectations involved.

By John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.