(no subject)

t. dean (tad@ohiolinks.com)
Sat, 28 Mar 1998 09:48:44 -0500

I am a high school and elementary Principal in a rural school district. I did
not grow up in this area; I grew up in the suburbs. I am very concerned with
the culture in the area I work in. It is mostly a coal mining town. We recently
had an incident where high school students on the way to basketball practice
"shot up the town" with paint ball guns. I have recently found bullets in my
hallways. Locker searches have not produced guns or bullets. Almost every
night beer bottles are found in front of my school. I have gone by my school at
11:00 PM to find former graduates and students as young as 9th grade in the
parking lot. The local Sheriff's Dept. "pretends" to support me by driving by
1/2 hour after I report suspicious activity on school property. Parents treat
me like I am insane when I contact them about students being out so late at
night (even on a school night). My home and car have been vandalized. My
neighbor boy, a "nice kid" vandalized my car because I suspended his friend for
calling a new teacher a "fag". The boy wanted to teach me a lesson about
"suspending everyone". My school is in a big football town. A 9th grade student
turned in upper classmen( 17 & 18 year olds) for drinking and driving, but the
Sheriff's Dept. refused to believe him. Every school I have ever worked in does
not give serious discipline to kids on sports teams. The previous two
principals were former coaches and athletic directors before becoming principals
and they have stated in writing that very few students "committed offences
worthy of suspension". This is a crock of bull because verbal and physical
abuse of weaker students (mostly female) has gone on unpunished for years. I
regularly contact Children's Services about kids with bruises, they come in and
ask the kids what they ate for dinner, are they warm at night, etc. When they
ask about being hit or touched in inappropriate places, the kids say nothing.
So, Children's Services rarely invetigate further. I am really concerned that
something like the masacre at Arkansas could occur in my town. "Dating" starts
very early in elementary school. It is very common for 12 year olds to be
engaging in sexual relationships. I brought in the head Sheriff to speak about
guns and safety. He brought in statistics of crimes committed by juveniles, but
teachers refused to pass them out saying tghe literature would "put ideas in
kids' heads". I am frustrated. I know my community is not the only one like
this in America. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks,Rural Principal
"t. dean" <tad@ohiolinks.com>

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