I started to get curious when he started to spin the climate survey data. Like he did this year, he told all of us that the climate survey was not the time to “air out dirty laundry” and that it impacted our pay. In addition to not being true, it made me feel bullied which I wasn’t a fan of.
It hit me when we all heard that the then superintendent Mike Miles was coming for a visit. The day before, I had a student walk in and say he just got suspended. Frequently in trouble, the student asked me why he was being suspended for 3 days for not having a uniform on when he never has his uniform on. This is true, the kid is always out of uniform but they never said anything until the superintendent comes around.
Throughout the day, more of these frequent troublemakers started to get suspended. Around 6th period I heard a commotion outside my classroom that was clearly a kid yelling at the principal. After much profanity from the student and quite a bit of yelling from this principal, the principal yells “get this trash out of my school” and proceeds to ridicule the student for being two grade levels behind.
Why did this strike me as dishonest? From a person that preaches school turnaround and changing school culture, this is not what I expected. No students are going to respect you if the only time they see you is when you’re threatening to cancel lunch and have sandwiches brought to the classrooms every day if students don’t stop being tardy. It became clear to me that for him it was less about the kids and more about his public appearance. Hey, the district loves him so I guess everything is fine on paper, but there are some things you just don’t say to kids no matter how frustrated you get. Calling them “trash” is out of line.
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