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Home : 2002 : Aug : 28

    By Julianne

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    I agree with you that this person should not be a principal. And the idea of going to your association with it is a good one. If you can't or won't do that, there are a couple of things you might do to protect yourself, though they may not help a lot.

    First, when confronted with someone's personal information, think twice before divulging any of it to this principal. If you can safely solve a situation without going to her, don't go! She is not helping anyway. You might look around the building for other sources of help - the secretary, special services personnel, etc., rather than the principal. This way she has no gossip to spread.

    Second, if you must go to her preface the information you give her. Tell her you are giving her this piece of information IN CONFIDENCE and you are sure the parents need it to stay that way. Make a point of telling her that you are not telling ANYONE ELSE about this situation. Then if it gets leaked, you can tell the parent in all honesty that you told only the principal, and in confidence. Let the parent draw their own conclusions about who spread the gossip. If you are assertive, you can even go so far as to tell the parent that you have seen this problem before and you just don't know how this stuff gets spread seeing as you are so careful with whom you confide! If you are really, really assertive you can confront your principal with your latest angry parent and let her handle the fall out. That probably won't work, because someone with so few scruples that they would spread gossip probably won't own up to doing it. But if it happens often enough, the parents will begin to see who is doing the talking and it will spread around the neighborhood not to trust the principal.

    As to your parent who wants a kid moved, I'd vote for letting her have her way. You likely would have a bad year with this parent anyway, best to give another teacher that opportunity if possible. I say dump this problem in your principal's lap. She deserves it.

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