“continue to have the interests of all of our pupils and parents at heart”

The principal of St Colm’s High School, Twinbrook, Imelda Jordan, has rejected the criticism from local Sinn Féin councillor Sam Baker [no relation] of the visit to the school by three Royal Navy officers, presumbaly from the Navy’s Royal Marines Visiblity Team, who took part in a team-building and leadership event – criticism which, I’d suggest, was the political equivalent of a scene pod scream from 1978 sci-fi paranoia classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. From the statement Cllr Sam Baker issued earlier today.

“I was approached last night by a number of parents of children who took part in an exercise with the British Army’s Royal Marines in St. Colms School last Monday. “The parents informed me they knew nothing about this secret visit by the British Army, a visit arranged by the school principal Imelda Jordan. “This morning I spoke with the school principal and I listened carefully to her explanation. Her excuse beggars belief and reflects a view which is totally out of touch with the experience of the people of Twinbrook who suffered at the hands of the British Army over the last thirty years. “The principal should not have under any guise invited the British Army into her school. “The British Army is in occupation of part of this country.”

On Talkback he went further suggesting the “wider community” should have been consulted first. And the school principal’s response from the BBC report – which has the visit taking place on Thursday.

[P]rincipal Imelda Jordan said pupils were aware of the planned visit. She said a number of external agencies attend the school to enhance students’ academic and personal experiences. “Having worked in this area for over 30 years, I have and will continue to have the interests of all of our pupils and parents at heart,” she said.