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The Sally Smith case gets more interesting as participants in the drama tell more of the story in the comments section of SDNN.
It appears that the ouster of Smith from the Serra High School site council may have been retaliation for her having filed a lawsuit. Does this school staff know that the right to petition for redress of grievances is protected by the constitution? It would seem that they don't.
It seems that the school staff has gone off the deep end as far as anger goes. One of them seems to be threatening Sally Smith's daughter. (See the comments section below.) I have found that school staffs sometimes begin to think that they are immune to the law and that there is safety in numbers; that's when they begin to exhibit mob psychology.
Teachable Moments: Sally Smith off Serra site council at packed meeting
By Marsha Sutton, SDNN
Monday, January 11, 2010
Before a packed house, Sally Smith was ousted this afternoon from her elected seat on the School Site Council of Serra High School. She was blasted for humiliating a student at last month’s SSC meeting by laughing at her in public, but Smith claims the reason behind the movement to remove her centers around her efforts to eliminate parent fees for athletics and other extra-curricular activities....
[LD identifies herself as an educator for 25 years, and seems to be on the staff of Serra High School. She says of Sally Smith:]
"...she has filed at least 3 complaints against me and named me in at least 2 law suits with the school district. I have proven her wrong on every occassion (sic)."
[Maura Larkins response (updated): I searched court records and found that Sally Smith filed only one small lawsuit, and she won it easily. A parent shouldn't have to file a lawsuit just to get proper placement for her child at school.]
A DOUBLE STANDARD?
LD seems to have a double standard when it comes to how students should be treated. LD complains that Sally Smith made a girl cry by laughing at what the girl was saying, but then LD turns around and tells Sally Smith's daughter, who is also a student at the school, that she should LEAVE THE SCHOOL!
LD: "What about the student who was in tears when she was talking to your mom? Your mom walked out and to this day has not apologized??? What a hypocrite! Your mom needs to go home and be a mom. She needs to take her one and only child out of Serra and place her where she believes the school is following the law and teaching her daughter better values. School-of-choice is for people like your mom who are so unhappy with the school that it’s time to find a new place where she and her child are happy."
[Maura Larkins' response to LD: It's important that all students be taught to respect the law, including the students at Serra High School. This isn't such a big problem, LD. Just ask for donations to cover the cost of programs; I'm sure most families can give the donations, and those who can't are precisely the ones that the law is intended to protect.]
LD continues to harangue this child:
"Your mom has been mean, nasty, negative and isn’t trying to help students or trying to help us educators to follow the law..."
LD then seems to make a threat:
"The stuff has not all hit the fan yet, sister. But it’s coming. It’s coming big."
[Maura Larkins response: Good heavens, LD. It's not professional to intimidate a student at your school in this manner. You seem to be quite a bully; are you one of those coaches that thinks it's appropriate to abuse students to make them tough? I think you should say just what this "big" thing is that's about to hit the fan. I get the impression that it's going to hit Sally Smith and her daughter. Are you and some of the other staff members and students planning further revenge?]
No one has given me any information about any commenter, but I see that Lorene Dabney teaches PE at Serra High School. The students on the School Site Council are two field hockey/soccer players and a cheerleader. I can't help wondering if Dabney talked to them about this issue.]
THE CURSE OF THE GOOD GIRL
The Serra High School situation reminds me of the Rachel Simmons book “The Curse of the Good Girl.” Simmons notes that girl culture requires females to be “nice,” and not confrontational. Sadly, the alternative to confrontation is whispering behind people’s backs and working to gather more members into the secretive circle of angry “good” girls. Sally Smith broke the good girl rule, so the “good girls” proceeded to ostracize her. (Yes, I know men are involved; it seems that teacher culture is eerily similar to girl culture.) Several commenters claim that Serra High School is “our” school. It’s a public entity; it doesn’t belong to any subgroup. A healthier alternative would be to discuss issues openly. I think that the school should hire a facilitator to conduct a public discussion of the issues Sally has brought up. The law that requires that education be free is a doozy, but the school should model the appropriate procedure for dealing with difficult challenges in a democracy.