When you hear a teenage girl was forced to wear a coat over her "indecent" dress through an entire dance, you're expecting booty baring action and OMG, can't miss it cleavage, right? So what if I told you that Promise Hammond's dress was tight but otherwise the kind of outfit I'd be proud to send my daughter to a dance in? Oh, and then there's this: when her mom tried to challenge the principal on the supposed dress code violation, he had her arrested for "trespassing"?
Can you say somebody has let the power go to his head big time? And folks, if there's any one place where a power hungry person should not get the top job, a school building is right at the top of my list.
But you see it all the time. You get the principal who makes decisions and then refuses to even meet with parents to back them up. You get the principal who ignores the requests from his own staff, the teachers who actually know their students. Surrounded by people who, because of their age, are naturally at a disadvantage, an administrator who thinks he's (or she's) the second coming has a whole building full of people to lord it over. You get the principal who decides, all on his own, that a perfectly appropriate dress is "indecent."
And that is exactly the kind of administrator who can be many a good parent's undoing.
Take Promise's mom, Life Hammond. After the whole dance dress code debacle (seriously, take a look at Promise's dress! It stretches well past the standard "longer than your fingertips" requirement. And, OMG, this scandalous teen even wore a sweet little shrug to cover her shoulders!), she says she went into the school to talk to the principal.
Now here's where stories differ. The school and the police say proper protocol was followed. A school spokesperson alleged that Life "invaded the principal’s personal space." The mom, on the other hand, said she was doing school business, and she feels she has the right to lodge a complaint about a principal's action.
Who knows. They haven't adjudicated this case yet.
But either way, I get where Life was coming from. A principal makes a ridiculous call about your kid, and you want answers! You deserve answers! And all too often we have administrators who hide behind the "I have too much to do" excuse to avoid parents.
Do they do a lot? Yes. I don't envy them all the paperwork. But at the end of the day, if you're in charge of a school, you're in charge of kids' lives. And that means you make time for parents, and be willing to back up the decisions you made regarding their child. Don't like it? Get out of education.
What do you think? Have you had trouble with your kid's school administrators?
Image via -Marlith-/Flickr