Tag Archives: principals

Ethics Dunce….And Hoping That A Jury Lets Everyone Know How BIG A Dunce: Heritage Park Care Center in Carbondale, Colorado.

hostage-negotiationA typical set up for “Scare Tactics”—the unethical hidden camera cable show that terrifies its victims for laughs  by placing them in fake but real-appearing horror movie or action movie scenarios—would be to stage an armed hostage situation that everyone but the butt of the joke knows is a sham. I keep waiting for one of the hapless innocents in these vicious stunts who think they are about to die to pull out a concealed weapon and blast an actor or five to oblivion. That might teach the producers that creating fake life and death situations for any reason is cruel, irresponsible, and stupid.

In the alternative, a victim could just sue the pants off the producers and the production company; that would work too. If there is any justice, that is what will happen to the Heritage Park Care Center in Carbondale, Colorado for  getting local police to pretend to play armed thugs taking over the facility and threatening the employees…in a drill that none of them knew was a drill.

Former employee Michelle Meeker has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver alleging that  an armed man confronted her last October at the  Center as  Meeker, a registered nurse, was tending to one of her long-term patients.  Another employee told her to investigate  a suspicious man sitting in the Center’s day room. When she did, the man then showed her a handgun he had in his waistband and ordered her into an another room. He told her in hushed tones that he was really a police officer, but Meeker, quite reasonably, was unsure that he was telling her the truth. Hysterical, she pleaded for her life.

At least she didn’t pull out a concealed but licensed Glock and blow him away.

Robert Baker, the executive director of the Center and one of the named defendants, explained that the facility routinely conducts safety, fire, and natural disaster drills for its residents. “Unfortunately, the training exercise alarmed some at our facility,” Baker said.

Yeah, imagine that. Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Ethics Dunces, Health and Medicine, Law & Law Enforcement, Workplace

Apology Not Accepted: This Principal Needs To Be Fired

roosevelt_high_school_yearbook_0618

There are so many things ethically offensive about this story that I hardly know where to begin.

From NBC:

In a statement released Wednesday, Roosevelt High School principal Stephen Strachan said that an unedited draft of the message had been published in the yearbook, rather than the final version he intended to appear. The message borrowed heavily from one penned by a principal in Albany, California, to his school’s class of 2013. Strachan’s message even includes the sentence, “Congratulations to the Albany High School Class of 2013.”

“I sincerely apologize to the Roosevelt community and to the class of 2014 for the inadvertent clerical error causing mistakes to be printed in the 2014 yearbook,” he said. Strachan said that a new version of the yearbook with the correct message and will be given out to students on Friday. The new yearbooks will cost about $800 and will be paid for with funds from the principal’s discretionary fund, Newsday reports.

“I take full responsibility for this oversight,” Strachan said.

According to Newsday, the first and third paragraphs were nearly identical to the California principal’s, with only the second paragraph differing. Strachan told Newsday that he received permission to quote one of his colleagues.

Wait…WHAT?? Continue reading

16 Comments

Filed under Character, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee

Ethics Quiz: “Ick!” Or Unethical—The Arabic Pledge Of Allegiance

"I pledge allegiance to the flag...that the terrorists who speak this language want to tear down..."

“I pledge allegiance to the flag…that the terrorists who speak this language want to tear down…”

In the latest smoking gun example of how the administrators of public schools are widely recruited from the Homes For The Bewildered, we learn of Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado, where the principal, Tom Lopez, and his staff agreed to let the school’s “Cultural Arms Club” lead the student body in an Arabic version of the Pledge of Allegiance, one that replaced  “under God,” the ill-advised addendum to the Pledge added by Congress when the U.S. felt under siege from “godless Communism” with  “under Allah.”

As further proof that they should be managing a street corner balloon establishment, the school’s administration professes amazement that parents and citizens are upset with this, and as more evidence yet, places the blame on the students. After all it was their idea, and if they voted to have their fellow students recite the pledge in duck voices, or Pig Latin, or punctuated with “Heil Hitler!” salutes and “der Fuhrer” in place of “God,” I’m sure that would be okey-dokey too. Continue reading

108 Comments

Filed under Childhood and children, Citizenship, Education, Government & Politics, History, Professions, Religion and Philosophy, U.S. Society

And The Winner Of The Curmie Is….

blue ribbon

….Just whom I thought it should be…and a previous winner on Ethics Alarms.

Writes Rick Jones, announcing that his annual poll to pick the worst example of misconduct by education professionals that highlights the deep, deep problems in the field wisely selected Principal Greer Phillips of PS 79 (the Horan School) in East Harlem, who, you may recall, decided to terrify special needs students and her staff by running a surprise “a school massacre is happening right here at our school! ARGHHH!” drill shortly after the Newtown shooting…

“…it’s difficult to argue with the collective wisdom of Curmiphiles. Principal Phillips managed to do something not merely colossally stupid, but arrogant, cruel, smug, unethical, insensitive, reckless, boorish, and—oh, yeah—illegal, as well. Plus, in the kneejerk world of post-Newtown, it also succeeded in being an emblem of everything that makes me crazy about the world of public education and self-righteous liberal do-gooding.I may not have had preference among the finalists at the beginning of the voting, but you have convinced me that the right person won. I’ll send the Curmie along to her, but perhaps first I should call her up and tell her that there’s a serial killer waiting for her in her apartment and that he’s amusing himself by setting her cat on fire. She won’t really appreciate the Curmie until she gets out of therapy, anyway, right?”

Read his whole post here, and I urge you, again, to follow Rick’s blog.

6 Comments

Filed under Education

Vote For The 2013 Curmie, Designating The Worst Of Misconduct In The Name Of Education

...and middle school, and elementary school....

…and middle school, and elementary school….

Over at Rick Jones’ Curmudgeon Central, the final nominees for his not-so-coveted 2013 Curmie Award are up, and the winner will be determined by the vote of Rick’s readers. The Curmies memorialize the worst in U.S. conduct by education professionals, and a revoltingly diverse group of miscreants he has assembled. I urge you all to drop by, read Rick’s commentary (and about some of the awful incidents that didn’t make the cut), and vote.

Only three of Rick’s final eight were covered on Ethics Alarms, and while I am confident that the ultimate winner is among them, I am now second guessing my editorial judgment. Rick’s blog is more education-centric than Ethics Alarms ( his work has filled the gap created when the excellent “No Tolerance” blog went down), but I’m trying to recall why I passed on the other six, particularly Alex Evans and his imaginary grenade, and the student suspended for disarming another student. I think I was getting so sick of post-Sandy Hook hysteria when the invisible grenade story came out that I just couldn’t write about another one just then. The other one…well, as Rick notes, there were some complicating factors, but I should have covered it. Luckily Rick Jones was on the case, and did his usual excellent job.

Here, with Rick’s descriptions and links to his commentary, are the nominees:

Principal Greer Phillips of PS 79 (the Horan School) in East Harlem for conducting a completely unannounced (to teachers, to the police…) lockdown drill less than a week after the horrors at Sandy Hook Elementary. In aggravation: outrageous timing and an incompetently run drill complete with contradictory instructions, but also the makeup of the student body (a high percentage of students with emotional or cognitive problems). In mitigation: I can’t think of a thing. [Ethics Alarms commentary here.]

Principal Valerie Lara-Black of Mary Blair Elementary School in Loveland, Colorado for suspending 2nd-grader Alex Evans for throwing an imaginary grenade into an equally imaginary box containing “something evil.” In aggravation: this is stupid behavior even if there’s something tangible. In mitigation: there’s probably some idiotic zero tolerance policy that purports to justify if not demand these flights of inanity.

Principal Tracey Perkins of Cypress Lake (FL) High School for suspending a 16-year-old student because he disarmed another student, a football player who was threatening a teammate with a loaded gun. You see, he was “involved in an incident in which a weapon was present.” In aggravation: apart from the sheer idiocy the charges, they were changed after the school started being (quite rightly) embarrassed by the publicity. In mitigation: it is possible that the boy was indeed uncooperative with the ensuing investigation.

Principal Carla Scuzzarella of North Andover (MA) High School for stripping Erin Cox from her volleyball team captaincy and suspending her for five games because she went by a party where there was alcohol long enough to drive a drunken friend home. In aggravation: the police statement makes it clear that Ms. Cox had not been drinking, and the policy manual makes a specific point about the folly of guilt by association. In mitigation: there are reports that she was at the party longer than it would have taken just to collect her friend.

Officials at Dietrich (ID) High School for reporting science teacher Tim McDaniel to the school board and the state professional standards commission, allegedly for using the word “vagina.” Yes, in a biology class. In aggravation: Mr. McDaniel seems to be being penalized for the precise reason that he was doing his job. In mitigation: it is unclear to what extent the school per se was responsible for the brouhaha, although they clearly did little to prevent it.

Batavia (IL) High School and their equally incompetent school board for punishing social studies teacher John Dryden. His crime? Reminding his students of their 5th amendment rights while distributing a survey that could indeed have led to self-incrimination. In aggravation: the survey, with students’ name on it, was a clear invasion of student privacy, motivated by the usual nannyish hogwash. In mitigation: Dryden did react without checking with school officials about the intents of the survey. [Ethics Alarms commentary here.]

The unnamed teacher at Boles Junior High in Arlington, Texas for pouring pencil shavings into the mouth of 8th-grader Marquis Jay, and to the authorities who cravenly gave her a slap on the wrist. In aggravation: you need aggravation??? In mitigation: the boy deserved some punishment—he was at best inattentive—and it seems to have been an unpremeditated and isolated incident. [Ethics Alarms commentary here.]

Principal John Hynes of Grace Brethren High School in Simi Valley, California for the completely unauthorized action of changing the grades of at least one student (possibly several, including his own daughter), and the spineless board who allowed him get by with little punishment. In aggravation: it’s a short step from what has been admitted to and what has been alleged, which would be an outrageous abuse of power. In mitigation: with the exception of the one case, the allegations come almost exclusively from a now-former teacher. This may not be the most objective of sources.

31 Comments

Filed under Education

Unethical Quote Of The Week: Liz Sloan, Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School Principal (San Diego)

“This morning we told the students that there will be no romance in 5th grade.”

-Principal Liz Sloan, in a letter to the parents of fifth graders at the Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary School in San Diego.

"You're a bully, Charlie Brown..."

“You’re a bully, Charlie Brown…”

When exactly was it that the public schools began believing that they had unlimited power over the private lives of students? That they could encroach upon the authority of parents, as well as the natural autonomy of children themselves? is this a byproduct of the increasingly arrogant micromanagement of our lives by the government, and those who believe that liberty, even as it is expressed in the once sacrosanct realms of the family home or the recreation of children, should be subordinate to what government “experts,” bureaucrats and autocrats believe is “best” for us? I don’t know when, but I do know that I thank the fates every time I reflect on our choice to home school my son, not merely because of its effect on him, but because I fear that it would have taken just a couple of encounters with people like Liz Sloan to give me a police record that would have been a serious occupational handicap.

Here is the rest of her letter: Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under Citizenship, Education, Ethics Quotes, Family, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Rights, Romance and Relationships, U.S. Society

Comments Of The Day: “Clash of the Ethics Dunces: The Web-shaming Student and the Angry Principal”

Tugowar

In May, Ethics Alarms opined on the reported story of a student who set out to embarrass his principal by “web-shaming” her regarding an assumed  DUI arrest that was in fact an arrest for something less serious, and her subsequent reaction, which I regarded as excessive based on the published accounts. The principal, Jamille Brown, then endeared herself to this blog by taking the time to post her own account of what occurred, and also by showing grace and good humor in the process. Now she has given us a more thorough account of the incident from her perspective, in the form of a letter she has sent to the TV station that reported the story initially, WSBTV

In response to it, our own Grand Inquisitor, tgt, has carefully critiqued her account, making some perceptive points. Together the two posts exemplify the collaborative nature of our ethical explorations here, and I am grateful for them.

Here are the Comments of the Day, by Jamille Brown and tgt, on the post “Clash of the Ethics Dunces: The Web-shaming Student and the Angry Principal”.

First, Ms. Brown: Continue reading

95 Comments

Filed under U.S. Society