Letter to an educator friend:
I understand that leadership--whether in public, charter, or private schools--is crucial. In this second
career of mine as a public school counselor (never had these issues in 26 years of being with Delta Air Lines), I have
worked for ineffective leaders, fine leaders, and for dangerous people. Until district administrators and school boards quit
placing their buddies in leadership positions in schools, children and employees will continue to be at risk in schools. This is, though, a darker and more sinister issue. Our
governor--our state's tippy-top leader-- has appointed his own buddies to our state's board of education. He's also
appointed our commissioner. They, as evidenced by their actions in spite of the outrage of thousands of Florida's residents,
are acting in their and THEIR buddies' interests. And that interest, I can tell you, is NOT about children. It's about
putting money into pockets and fleecing the public.
took charge of your circumstances. You no longer could/would cow to the abusive and heartless leadership at your former school.
But check this out--the same leaders are there. Ultimately it's children who are vulnerable. Abusive principals create
school cultures of fear. Of course, it's the stand-up people who are targeted for not being "team players."
In my case, being a "team player" meant lying and cheating on formal documents submitted as evidence during a lawsuit.
I wouldn't do it. Saying "no" to my former principal was the hardest professional thing I've ever done. But,
it was MY job that was at risk, not the jobs of the lying and cheating "members of my former principal's team."
So--kids may not be able to wrap
words around the "icky" feeling of walking into schools of abusive school cultures, but boy, oh boy, they "feel
thing that, concerns me: we are losing the very fabric of communities with all these "choices." For example,
as many as ten of my ninth grade son's high achieving (and local) friends from elementary school are not at our community's
local high school. How about that? Because our community's high school simply is not seen as "good enough",
their parents are all over the county--adding to our traffic woes and detracting from their own quality of life as they spend
hours in cars driving from one school to another in some cases.
Listen, I've never in my life been clear on any one thing. I feel like it's a God given mission.
Hey, in that sense, this is all a good thing for me! I like waking up!
|Click for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
"Be ashamed to die before you have won some battle for humanity."
School Board Rule:Responsibilities and
Duties states: All persons employed by the School Board of (School District's name) are representatives of the (School District's
name). As such they are expected to conduct themselves, both in their employment and in the community, in a manner that will
reflect credit upon themselves and the school system. Unseemly conduct in the workplace is expressly prohibited.