Maybe Stop and Ask Why – #WATWB

I am late again to the WATWB station. I hope I can still get on board the train. I appreciate this blogfest, and I try to support it, but Fridays are difficult. In any case, this month, being late was serendipitous. It was only on Friday, February 26th that the article I am sharing was published.

This story is about a high school principal in Indianapolis, here in the US. Some of you may remember the old mnemonic to help select between ‘principal’ and ‘principle’ – “the principal is your pal.” Well, mine never were, but Jason Smith is the definition of pal. Rather than jump to a conclusion and punish a boy who was sent to his office for refusing to remove his hat, Mr. Smith worked to find the root of the problem and to solve it. Here’s a bit from the story in USA Today:

So when an 8th grade student was sent to principal Jason Smith’s office last week for refusing to take off his hat, Smith asked the natural question: Why not?

“He just let me know his parents got him a haircut recently, but he didn’t like how it came out,” Smith said. “I’m assuming he just didn’t want kids to laugh at him.”

Instead of sending the student home, Smith pulled out his phone. He showed the boy photos of his son, whose hair he regularly cuts, and let the boy know he was no novice with a pair of clippers. Smith had been cutting hair for years and used to give his teammates haircuts before their high school and college basketball games.

He offered to fix the boy’s hairline. The boy and his parents agreed and Smith went home for his clippers.

Please take a look at the full story because this wasn’t the only time Smith helped a student in need. He doesn’t seek out the publicity, but he certainly deserves it.

The “We are the World” Blogfest is in its third year. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts,Sylvia McGrathPeter Nena, Shilpa Garg,  Eric Lahti and  Belinda McGrath Witzenhausenwelcome participants. You might want to join us in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. If you want to SIGN UP for WE ARE THE WORLD – Click HERE to be part of the Light.

The gallery is some photos of schools I’ve shared before. I hope you enjoy the article and the photos.

52 comments

  1. I read this story yesterday, Dan, and it is certainly perfect for WATWB. I never had principals who were as understanding although my children were fortunate to have one or two along the way. (One of my early grade schools was also turned into apartments for the elderly.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story, Dan. One of my sons had a Principal in Texas who was a wonderful woman, leader and friend to the then unique 6th Grade Center in Georgetown. The idea behind the project was that children in 6th grade were too mature for Elementary School but not quote mature enough for high school situations. My second oldest had one of the best school years of his life there. The principal was nearly blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa but she never let it show. She was vi rant, involved, firm and well educated. As a mother it is so devastating to fear for your child’s well being when they are out of your care. Kudos to this truly great man .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes reading this. What a wonderful story and outcome for them both. Peer pressure at that age can be so conflicting and intense! I’m so glad the principal gets it and was the right man for the job that day for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jason Smith deserves a big round of applause for his act of kindness to one of his students. I don’t think that student will ever forget this principal, and I hope he grows up to “pay it forward”. What a treasure this man is…..to get to the heart of the kids problem, and then to go out of his way to fix it. I’m sure the principal would insist he did not go out of his way….that it was all in a day’s work.

    Best of all, the principal and the student each made a new friend that day. Beautiful. Doesn’t get better than that.
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you saw this, Ginger.It was such a feel good story. It’s the way humans should be. The fact that this isn’t out of the ordinary for this principal is also amazing.

      Like

  5. An excellent example of listening and solving rather than judging and punishing, although sometimes the latter two must follow the former. Those are some impressive school buildings in the old style of architecture.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve thought about it and within the city proper I went to 3 townships, had kids in 4 townships, and taught in 2. There are 3 townships that take in the northeast side, round about 60k kids in public schools on our side of town. The odds of me or my family having been connected to a particular Indy school not real high, making it cooler that you shared that one!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I read this one too, shows true empathy and remembering what it was like to be in that kid’s shoes! Thanks so much for sharing this, we appreciate you! Thanks so much for being a part of #WATWB! Hope you have a fantastic week!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can understand the parents wanting the boy’s hair cut, but I’m appalled that the parents didn’t make more of an effort to ensure the cut wouldn’t embarrass the kid. Middle school is upsetting enough without making it worse with humiliation. Bravo to the principal.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Dan – what great empathy and understanding of kids – and for this particular kid – perfect solution. It doesn’t take much … but each little extra is so important. That head is exceptional – thanks for posting … Also good to see your school in its various guises … happy memories! Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is what I admire about so many people in the teaching profession – they don’t just teach, they help the students with so much more. The principal could have been mean and made the boy take his hat off and go back to class, but instead he was kind and wanted to fix the problem rather than embarrass the student. Kudos to the principal. We need more people in this world like him.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, there is often something beneath the surface. I have written about my ‘moment’ when I broke that teacher/student wall and understood. That was when I became a real teacher, like Pal. Best day ever. Thank you, Dan.

        Liked by 2 people

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