L.A. Times columnist Bob Sipchen has written a fascinating and troubling depiction of a Woodland Hills, CA elementary principal, Anna Feig, in his "School Me" column.
Accounts of the principal's behavior vary by source, so as far as whether or not the secondhand descriptions are true, I can only say that I've known a principal very like her and the complaints being true wouldn't surprise me; further, the direct quotes from her in the article do seem, in and of themselves, to lend credence to the complaints.
These quotes give a sad insight into the principal's thoughts about appropriate behavior and control of schools.
The principal is quoted as saying "The only time I raise my voice is if a teacher comes to me and says, 'Scare them."
Since when is yelling and scaring children between the ages of roughly 5 and 11 appropriate to constructively correct behavioral problems?
Sipchen describes a terrified kindergarten child whose parents removed her from the school and placed her elsewhere, so the principal does not even appear to have at least confined her "scaring" to the oldest children, though that would be inappropriate as well.
Of particular interest to me is the teacher's problem with demanding parents who "don't understand boundaries." A couple of teachers speaking in support of Feig say that before the principal arrived, "parents controlled the school."
Involved, interested parents seeking to have a voice in how their children's school is run is bad because...why again?