This past Sunday, Pam posted a thought-provoking post about changing the world. That might be a slight exaggeration, but maybe not. Then on Monday, Mary talked about anger and hatred. Among other things, Pam talked about not passing negative traits onto children, and Mary talked about controlling your own anger. Those links will open in new windows, if you want to go read them, go ahead, I can wait.
I started to write a comment on Pam’s post, and I realized that I might end up with a longer comment than I should post. You know, when your comment is longer than the post that inspired it. Then I realized that my comment was well suited to Linda’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt. So here we are.
In the summer between the 1999-2000 and the 2000-2001 school years, our town’s high school principal resigned. Our daughter was going into 11th grade, and I had become tangled up in over a dozen school committees. In case you don’t know this, schools are like churches, when they need volunteers, the first people they ask are ones who have already volunteered for something. I was asked to serve on the selection committee tasked with finding a new principal.
I will skip the part about how this process was manipulated by a truly malevolent woman, resulting in the hiring a personal friend of hers who was unqualified, unlikable, and obnoxious. The process was supposed to be quite simple. We were to choose six candidates from thirteen resumes whom we would interview. We would then recommend three finalists from whom the School Board would select a principal. Since I am sure at least one of you wants to hear the part I planned to skip, as the devil in the Twilight Zone episode “Escape Clause” said, I’ll give it to you, thumbnail.
Thirteen resumes became fourteen. Three finalists became four, and the fourth candidate had second thoughts, apparently, about all his bad answers during our interview because when he interviewed with the Board, the Board Members like his answers to the very questions where we disliked his answers. He was selected, served for two unremarkable years and moved on.
In addition to this bozo being treated better than the rest, one candidate was treated differently than the rest. He was a Vice Principal, the person usually in charge of discipline. He was asked a question no other candidate was asked. He was asked to opine on the rising number of students with disciplinary problems of a social nature – the kinds of problems Pam and Mary mentioned. He reminded us that since high schools in Connecticut include grades 9 – 12, that he saw students as young as 13 years old.
“When I see thirteen- and fourteen-year-old children exhibit the kind of behavior that I think you’re asking about, I have to conclude that somewhere, an adult has failed to do their job.”
Since there were adults in the room who no doubt would have preferred to hear him blame Hollywood and video game makers, his answer was not well received. I thought it was brilliant, and I told him so.
This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you would like to join in on the fun, you can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.