Dear Principal of Nearby Elementary,
I’m keeping your identity and school name private as a means to protect the students of your school. Based on what I witnessed yesterday, both with my eyes and during my brief phone conversation with your secretary, I feel that someone really should think about protecting them. Clearly, it isn’t you.
What kind of society are we that our children are setting up “dog fights” using younger children after school?
This isn’t to say that I wasn’t bullied, tormented and teased as kid. Because I was. Mercilessly at times. But I was never used by older kids in a sick sort of “dog fighting” scheme. Those older kids started that fight yesterday. They enjoyed it while it went on. And there isn’t a doubt in my mind that they wouldn’t have broken it up if the other good Samaritan and I hadn’t intervened. They likely wouldn’t have broken it up unless and until A) someone else stepped in or B) those girls seriously hurt one another. And even then, I’m not sure they wouldn’t have simply wandered off leaving those two girls to keep fighting, alone in the intersection.
It was sick and twisted how much enjoyment they were getting out of the experience. And then how pissed off they were at me when they A) got caught and B) I spoiled their fun. (I say “I” not because I acted alone because I didn’t. I had another good soul who helped me. I just happened to have been much more vocal than she was and so they focused their anger at me.)
I didn’t care that they were pissed.
I didn’t care that they were calling me names.
I cared that those little girls didn’t seem to have a clue as to why they now wanted to rip each others throats out. Or why their “friends” and classmates were so excited by that fact.
And then I became enraged when you denied any culpability!
Did I expect you, the principal, to come running over and pull the kids apart? Davidh them home? Report the incident to their parents?
No, I didn’t expect that.
I was the tiniest bit hopeful but I didn’t expect it.
Here’s a thought:
What is so wrong with taking down my statement as to what happened? What is so wrong with sending home a notice to the parents of every student in the school telling them that this is taking place, in general terms without naming names? (Who cares if the children who committed the act know it’s about them? That’s called “guilt”.) Suggesting that perhaps, if possible, they have someone walk their children to and from school? (I understand that it’s not always possible but what’s wrong with suggesting it?) What about sending this notice home so that it might open a dialog? Maybe if “Susy” and “Michelle” (the little girls from the fight) are asked about the incident and asked about bullying, maybe they’ll open up to mom and dad. Then their parents can take it to you, the principal, and just like that, it will be your problem. What is so wrong with that? (Yes, I understand some parents may never see it, other parents may never read it but some will!)
Yeah, it was the end of the day. Yeah, you were gabbing with a teacher (the secretary told me this when I asked to speak with you). Yeah, no one wants to work past 3:30pm if they don’t have to. But you know what, those parents trust you! They are trusting that you will do the right thing by their kids. They are trusting that you will educate and protect their children.
From where I sit, a few blocks away from your desk, watching the “dog fights” multiple times a week, you are doing a horrible job on the latter. It’s really too bad that the parents of your students won’t have the chance to make an informed decision on this matter since it wasn’t even important enough to bring you to the phone.
I can’t help but wonder if Canton City Police took my suggestion to heart, since they were concerned about the frequency and arrangements of the fights, and showed up in your office. I think I would have liked to see that.