2002-02-21 18:49:08 (UTC)

Small Town Scandal

Now I did write *scandal* but remember, this is just a small
town scandal so it isn't really much. There have been a few
odd letters to the editor in our little local weekly
newspaper the last month or so, all of them praising the
high school secretaries. I love these ladies. They are
kind, funny, professional and have lived here all their
lives and know everybody. But why suddenly are all
these letters appearing?

It didn't take a lot of investigating to find out what's
going on. It seems we have two very new and very green high
school administrators. Our high school principal resigned
abruptly last fall in a dispute he was having with the
school board and they decided to have the just hired
elementary principal do both jobs. I don't know how he was
doing as the elementary school principal but he seems to be
having problems covering both buildings.

The vice-principal is worse. I think she expected to be
appointed to the high school principal position and
resented it when that didn't happen. I've heard some horror
stories about her inability to deal with parents and
teachers. It sounds like that's now extended to the high
school secretaries. She's reportedly threatened to fire
them both. This has not gone over well with anyone,
especially as she doesn't have the power to do that. That
power belongs to the school board and the school board
alone. This is making people in the community angry and so
we are seeing letters to the editor supporting the

This last week there was a bit more in one written by a
local retired teacher/administrator who is still very active
in city affairs and is well known and liked by many. The
last comment in his letter was *It appears to me that the
current district and building administration lack the skills
and ability to treat their staff in a positive, respectful
and professional manner, a sad commentary.* Yes, indeed.
And now the cat's out of the bag, so to speak. We'll see
what happens next.

I ran into the now retired high school counseling secretary
at the post office a few days ago who commented to me about
*the sad state of affairs* at the high school. She asked
me, only half-jokingly, why I hadn't straightened them out
yet. Believe me, I've tried. For years, I tried. And just
when one administrator would finally *get it* he or she
would up and leave and go to another district and a new one
would come in and I'd have to start all over again.

It wasn't just me, either. There are plenty of parents out
here who know the state public records and meetings laws and
who to call if they need to be enforced, who know what the
*chain of command* is to file complaints, and know what the
the board approved written policies are on various topics,
but the young and new administrators that come and go out a
revolving door don't seem to and there are always some too
arrogant and too self important to realize that a small town
parent just might and would call them on it. Parents
have had to hold administrators accountable publicly and
that's hard on everyone. It'd be so much easier if they
were better trained and knew their jobs better or at least
would listen when someone pointed out privately that
they weren't following state law or written policy. I'm
happy I only have a year and-a half left to go before my
boys are done with the school district. I'm plain
tired of educating the education bureaucrats and
administrators. I'm ready to move on and do other things
with my life.