October 30, 2013 by Brad Currie
Have you ever heard of rumors pertaining to acts of school violence, staff insubordination, and/or death? Only to find out that the information received was far from the truth? It can be extremely frustrating and time consuming to address these tangled webs that people weave. I often ask myself how fish stories spiral out of control. Is it the school’s fault? Possibly the parents? What about students? I know, blame social media right?
The fact remains that no piece of information should go unaddressed. As educators and responsible citizens we must ensure that reported concerns are addressed. Which is why it is critical that strong relationships are intact with local law enforcement and various other school stakeholders. This will enable legitimate issues to be investigated and misunderstood instances to be laid to rest.
School stakeholders must also feel comfortable in approaching administration about things they may of heard from their own children or another adult. Often there is a simple misunderstanding that can be clearly explained. Every once in a while though, helpful information comes to a school’s attention and ends up being very helpful in the long run. Follow up on the school’s behalf is also important and goes a long way in maintaining a healthy relationship with the overall school community.
As a parent though, I often wonder if we make things worse when presented with unsubstantiated information from our children or another adult. We often take things for face value and form opinions and then pass along to another person. Is this the right thing to do? Shouldn’t we pause, think, and sometimes ignore these out of control stories? Not sure if I have the answer but sometimes adults, including myself, should take the high road and stay way from the nonsense.
As a school leader I often wonder if more could be done to curb the urge for people to believe everything they hear. Admittedly, I have been guilty of dabbling in the rumor mill, but hope in the future I can pause, think, and move on. I believe we must all come together and truly think about all we hear and subsequently sometimes say. What is often overlooked is the human aspect of these misunderstood or nonexistent stories. Because when it is all said and done, students’ education is on the line. Therefore, we must keep ourselves in check and let common sense prevail.