Inept school officials cause chaos in Massachusetts school over a Facebook picturePosted by Scott Osborn on October 30, 2014
Tito Velez and Jamie Pereira were preparing to attend a school dance at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School in Taunton, Mass. on Friday, when the parents took a picture of them with Air-Soft guns in their home. It was subsequently posted on Facebook. School administration became aware of the photo 48 hours following the dance only after a parent complained. The police were called to the school on Monday, the kids were interrogated without the parents permission or their presence, their lockers were searched, and when the kids asked to call their parents, they were told to “Be Quiet!” They were suspended for 10 days and then told that they would face expulsion.
While the story has gone viral, and the school district is now reeling from the after-effects, the incompetence of the principal and the superintendent is beginning to emerge. Superintendent Dr. Richard W. Gross and Principal Carolyn Pearson have found themselves in some pretty hot water and it’s all due to his flagrant incompetence. Lawyers have been secured and the court of public opinion has blatantly said that enough is enough.
There are several issues that should be outlined, besides the obvious 2nd Amendment breach and thumbing their noses at Parental Sovereignty.
1. Dr. Gross lied. He gave an absolute and we all know that those do not work very well. He was quoted as saying:
“What it’s about is a couple of students engaging in an activity that created a total destruction of the school day,” Superintendent Richard W. Gross said. “They’re juniors in High School, and it’s proactive and they should know better and it scared students.”
Come on now! The students know better than that, they were there. Was it discussed? I am sure it was. But a “Total Destruction” of a school day? Scared students? Sir, I do not believe one word of it. In fact, had you reacted before the dance instead of days later, you might have had a leg to stand on. If anyone was scared, it would have been at the dance and I highly doubt that. Dr. Gross has caused a total destruction of the school week if anything.
By lying, he taught the kids in his district that it is okay as long as it’s to “CYA.” Instead of doing the right thing, standing up and admitting and learning from his mistake, Dr. Gross taught those kids a very bad lesson. The character lesson he was supposed to teach, was one of learning from mistakes, not that it is okay to lie when you get in hot water.
2. Now let’s play devil’s advocate and say they were in the wrong. I am going to use an illustration. Every first year teacher has a similar problem; discipline and control in the class. Now that first year, because they are inexperienced and weak, they often refer to a higher authority for help, i.e., the principal’s office. As they grow, they learn how to deal with these situations in class. They rely less and less on that higher authority. An experienced teacher rarely has to rely on that higher authority unless they come across a major problem.
Now, take this another step. By not being able to deal with a simple situation like this ‘in house’ and having to call the police, Dr. Richard W. Gross and the principal, Carolyn Pearson, basically proved that they are weak and inexperienced. They showed that they were not capable of handling the situation and thus referred to the higher authority. In the process, they wasted tax dollars and the valuable time of law enforcement for a situation that was easily handled between the parents and the school. There is a time and place to call the police and this was definitely not it. If the school officials cannot handle basic issues on their own, the school district needs to hire someone that can.
3. Dr. Gross and Principal Pearson also showed inexperience in disciplinary tactics. Anyone who has ever raised a child knows that if you go nuclear on a punishment for something that does not warrant it, it only creates a lack of respect, as well as creating a problem when more serious challenges come along. They brought this “offense’ to a level that is in line with very much greater offenses. That is a bad tactic and is only used by those very inexperienced in leadership. The same concept would apply to a manager in an office environment. This is basic leadership skills. It does not take a rocket scientist.
4. To further deflect responsibility, Dr. Gross blamed the outrage by America on social media. Quite silly, as it began on social media. No pun intended, but he shot the messenger. This is another example of his inexperience and incompetence.
5. This action on behalf of the school administration has, and will further, cost the district and school time, money and valuable resources. There is likely to be a lawsuit. Beyond that, the total focus of the school for weeks will be this story. Time will be spent in school discussing it, at school board meetings, time taken from school and district employees dealing with phone calls and etc. This is what has caused a total destruction of the school week. It has also most likely created discord on campus.
6. Dr.Gross and Principal Pearson have made the entire school and district look inexperienced and inept. It will take a long time to recover. It’s why they need to resign. On the small island of Trinidad in the Caribbean, they do not say, “You’re Fired!”, they say, “This job is not for you!” Dr. Richard W. Gross and Principal Carolyn Pearson, this job is not for you.
Overreach like this by schools has to stop. There is only one way to stop it; public pressure. Parents need to flood the next school board meeting to demand resignations. Take action folks. This is the future of our public school system. If we don’t stop it now, where will we be in 20 years?
Faxes should be sent to the attention of:
- Superintendent Dr. Richard W. Gross and/or
- Principal Carolyn Pearson
- Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School
- 207 Hart Street
- Taunton, MA 02780
- Phone (508) 823-5151
- Fax (508) 822-2687
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