First, liberal blogger Matt Singer of Left in the West referred to the Poplar Middle School principal as a “bully.” Now, an irate parent compared the first year principal to a child molester after she attempted to give a “pep talk” to students with failing grades.
In some statewide newspapers, Black is denying the parents’ accusations. She claims she gave the students a “pep talk” and did not say they were failing or that she publically shamed them. She also denied calling them out onto the floor in front of other students.
After trustees voted at Thursday’s meeting to retain her, Black left the meeting in tears when parent compared her to a child molester and said all trust between Black and the students has been destroyed.
You can tie this unfortunate story line into an op-ed column by David Brooks in Thursday’s New York Times. Here’s a principal who appears to care enough about her students to pull them aside and mentor them, and this is how the community treats her? As Brooks ponders why anyone would want to run for office, those of us reading this story in Montana can also ponder why anyone would want to step up and serve children in our rural, economically depressed schools.
The principal of the Poplar, MT Middle School took “Leave No Child Behind” to a new level: publicly shaming any student with a failing grade.
This, according to a report in The Great Falls Tribune.
More than 35 parents and guardians of students who reportedly were publicly shamed at a school assembly for failing grades packed the regular Poplar School Board meeting Monday night and were quickly ushered into a closed-session meeting.
(Patricia) Black, in her first year as principal, has been criticized by parents of students attending the school who were called out onto the gym floor by name during an assembly. Parents and community members said she “shamed” those students and they want to see some sort of resolution.
I can only imagine if this would have happened to me when I was a kid. My parents probably would have thanked the principal for giving me the kick in the rear I would have deserved.
As an update to this post
Please read the comments below submitted by liberal blogger and Missoula film producer Pete Talbot. If you’re in for a good laugh, or just wanted confirmation t hat Left in the West’s Matt Singer is watching too much Anderson Cooper 360- you can read his comments over there as well. He goes so far as to accuse the Poplar principal of “bullying.”
For their benefit, I thought I would share some examples of another principal in American history who also angered parents and school administrators for his public “shaming” of students.
Or how about this one, as Principal Joe Clark gets in trouble with his boss: