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Posts Tagged ‘principal’

       The principal at Gloucester High School, John Sullivan, has resigned his position; if you remember he was the principal that made news headlines a few months back by allegedly, claiming that there was a pregnancy pact at his school when pregnancy rates climbed to four times the norm, in his school…17 young women were pregnant, during the school year.  To the best of my knowledge the idea of a “pact” has not been proven; in fact, some of the girls actually denied the claim.  The former principal says that he often relied on information gathered through his staff and from monitoring student chatter which when put together was generally reliable and he chooses to keep that information confidential. 

        John Sullivan appears to feel somehat betrayed by the mayor of the town because when all of this hit the media…he made some statements that criticized the principals ability to “remember” who told him about the alleged plan to become pregnant.  He also says that the superintendent remained silent in the rush of public opinion to condemn him for alluding to the girls deciding to become pregnant.   He feels that both the mayor and the superintendent allowed him to take the brunt of the news reports without standing up for him. 

         He says he does not remember using the word pact…however, he still is convinced that the young woman became pregnant on purpose.  He resigned he said because he does not feel that he has the confidence or support of the leadership in his community.  John Sullivan was at a place where he could have retired, so he did.  However, he did so while at the same time encouraging the students “to continually check their moral compass and do what is right even when swimming against the tide”.

           Regardless of whether the young women became pregnant by choice or not…the school system and community leaders would do well to increase it’s preventative educational programs.  This trend is one that we all pay a price for…with our taxes, with our young people, with social services, and in the short and long term with our families.   The school system is review it’s policy to ban distributing contraception in school. 

          In my opinion, the school system should work closely with parents groups, clergy, health care professionals, school counselors, and the students themselves while drafting a plan to combat the increased numbers sexually active students and occurances of teen pregnancies. 

           With the recent culture of movies that tend to gloss over teen pregnancy and all of the complications that go along with it; we need to examine how our environment/culture encourages our young people to engage in sexual activity, and begin to discuss ways to educate and combat all of the mixed signals that our youth are exposed to in this area of life.  Exposure to STD’s is rising in certain parts of our population, the AIDS numbers are climbing; and with the difficulties in the economy, and cut backs in programs that help to educate and help prevent exposure for our young people; we are waging a war for the health and well being of our children. 

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        A Kindergarten teacher in Indiana told a young 5 year old kindergartener, named Gabriel Ross, that he “tortured and tormented” her all year.  Young Gabriel kept telling his mother and step-father that his teacher was mean to him.  He said that other children didn’t like him because he was bad.  Who told him he was bad?  The parents were concerned enough that they sent him to school with a tape recorder in his pocket in April.

         On a four hour tape they were able to record shockingly hurtful comments that the teacher allegedly made to Gabriel; and about Gabriel, to the other students in the classroom.  She allegedly told him that he was “self-absorbed, pathetic and ignorant”.  These comments were supposedly made by a teacher with 13 years of experience.

          What i am wondering is; what other things had been said and done to humiliate this child during the rest of the school year; that didn’t get on tape?  Most schools start in late August or early September…this tape was made in April.  That is a long time to damage a young person’s self-esteem.  Most educators teach because it is their passion.  Those teachers teach with joy and skill…when they run into a challenging child…they try to find ways to reach that child and work with them.  If they can’t…at the very least…most will at least move the child to another classroom.

        If the teacher felt that this child was so out of control all year…why wasn’t she contacting the parents to get to the bottom of the issue.  After this tape came to light…the teacher’s association said that the teacher lost her cool.  But the things that were said and done, definately sound like someone who knew how to zero in and verbally annihilate another person’s feelings.  This venom was sounding as if it had built up from more than one difficult day.  Why wasn’t this teacher seeking help handling something that she felt was out of control all year long? 

        At one point, the teacher says that Gabriel is pathetic and that she hopes her words hurt him because he is hurting everyone around him.  Then, she goes on to say to the class…what do they think…is this somone that they want to be with?  Of course, the children all say…NOOOOOOO!   She very effectively made this child a pariah with his own classmates.    What the heck…who is the adult here? 

           How can you justify verbally attacking a child in your classroom?  If a child is out of control…you call in the school counselor, psychologist, principal, parents and evaluate why the child is acting this way. 

           Then depending on the results, you either find an effective way to discipline the child with appropriate boundaries; or you do some medical, psychological or academic testing to see what the problem is.  You find ways to figure it out without getting on the level that this “professional” teacher supposedly did.  There are lots of really good, skilled teachers who want and need jobs.  We dont have to settle for substandard teachers educating our children.

         In my opinion…this was a really horrible example of how not to teach our children. 

      

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