Thursday, August 25, 2011

And on the 3rd day I cried (already).

I’ve been back at work for 4 days. Yesterday I cried.

I had a meeting with a prospective student and their family about the possibility of attending our school. I asked my usual question in this type of situation: “Tell me why you want to attend St. Pat’s?”

The tears instantly welled up and poured down her face. She couldn’t speak. She couldn't find the words. After a few minutes of quiet consolation from her mom, she finally found a few words.

The student was a victim of on-line bullying from some peers at her previous school.

I listened with my own tears welling up. As a teacher, father and fellow human being my heart broke for her. The only words I could find to say were: “I’m sorry”

We talked a little about her attending our school, her interests and passions.

I also explained that, as the principal, I couldn’t promise that she would be 100% immune from this type of reprehensible behavior from other students. But I did promise her that at our school
  • All students have a clear understanding of how to treat others, both face to face and on-line. We are intentional in our modeling and teaching of how we, as people should treat other in all mediums. 
  • She will be coached and mentored on how she should deal with situations that are hurtful. 
And most importantly,
  • She will always have a caring adult who will listen to her and intervene to restore justice and bring healing to the situation. Always. 
As the meeting ended I thanked the student for being truthful and courageous with me. I wished her healing from all this hurt. I thanked the family for showing interest in our school.

The student and her mom left my office each with a used tissue in hand.

I grabbed my tissue when they left my office.


  1. Johnny, as I read your post again I realized what was so powerful. This student and her family were obviously anxious and likely dreading the start of school, but the impact of one caring individual, who is part of a larger caring community has likely re-energized her about school. All kids should have that opportunity.