Monday, October 02, 2006

Scary School Principals

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?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This really is scary -- a principal who admits to using scare tactics?! So many principals and teachers seem to be ... well, bullies! They get to flex their muscles over the rest of us, and it seems to give them a lot of satisfaction. And the notion that parents don't recognize boundaries -- I should hope not! Too many of us bow to the authority of brainless administration. And brainless teaching. My son was asked, on a 5th grade math test, to explain *why* $2.78 is more than $2.42. I wish I could explain why we put up with fads in education as stupid as this one.

9:51 AM  
Blogger lucy said...

It is truely a sad day in a free country when one person runs the school instead of the parents whos children are there. Is'nt that called a Dictatorship? I think each of us posting a complaint about the intimidation abuse and bullieing that is being practiced by Mrs. Feig will do no good unless we all get together and bombard the superintendent with complaints. Even if it takes taking a day off from work to walk around with picket signs it is worth our children. Many people are taking the easy was out by remaining silent or pulling their children out. Our children should not be removed and tossed to another school it is Anna Feig that needs to be tossed out. Lets work together to make it happen. To file a complaint you can call the superintendant office at818-654-3600. The school is under investigation at it would help if we all backed each other. After all it is for our children.

11:59 AM  

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