Conversation grows in light of allegations that the Jamaica College Board has agreed to extend by five years Ruel Reid’s special leave. One social commentator and trade unionist is describing the predicament of the Jamaica College Board allegations as “between a rock and a hard place”.

Reid, the embattled former Education Minister has been before the court with several co-accused of fraud-related matters. He however remains principal of the all boys’ institution and has again recently sought an extension of his special leave set to end this weekend.

When CVM Live contacted the Board Chairman, Michael Bernard on Monday, November 15, he said they were awaiting a response from the Education Minister regarding Reid’s future at the institution.

However, days later it was reported in the media that the JC Board had agreed to extend by 5 years Reid’s special leave. When CVM live contacted Bernard again on Thursday, November 18 he neither denied nor confirmed.

And while Education Minister Fayval Williams on Tuesday, November 16 promised a response sometime later this week, several calls placed to her cellphone on November 18 went unanswered.

Of note, the education regulation of 1980 section 68 outlines that a teacher in a public educational institution may be allowed special leave with or without pay as the minister may approve on the recommendation of the board to enable the teacher for numerous reasons. The applicable one in this instance being the last ” to be absent for such other reasons as the Minister may approve”.

Trade Unionist and Social Commentator Helene Davis Whyte says, if these rumours are to be believed, it would be an unfortunate situation for the JC Board. She says the Minister can calm the critics by approving the leave without pay despite the Board’s recommendations if that is the case.

Meanwhile, she notes since the 1980’s regulation does not limit the number of extensions Reid could have, there could still be future extensions and potentially frustrating the acting principal.

More in this CVM Live story from Neika Lewis: