Welcome to the latest installment of “Principals Behaving Badly”. Up for discussion today, I give you the vice-principal of Millennial Tech Magnet Middle School, near San Diego. He called for a school evacuation, as well as bringing in police, fire-rescue and an arson strike team (bomb squad) because a student brought a strange-looking item to school.
The item in question? A Gatorade bottle filled with wires, that the student had created in his garage over the weekend.
The overreaction? The vice-principal never, not once, walked up to the student, who was showing the item to other students, and said, “Hey, kiddo, whatcha got there?”
Nope. Instead, he called in authorities, and now the student AND his parents are being recommended for counseling. Their house was searched, as well. Not surprisingly, no explosives were found. Imagine that.
When the kid finally WAS asked about the item? He revealed that it was supposed to be a motion sensor.
To enlighten… the Mission and Vision Statement from the school’s website states:
All Millennial Tech Middle School students will cultivate their technology skills to enhance their motivation and curiosity to excel academically in order to become productive citizens that will drastically impact the developing information age.
All Millennial Tech Middle School students will cultivate their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills to enhance their motivation to excel academically in order to become global leaders and productive citizens in their chosen career path.
So let me get this straight… a kid takes the initiative at home, and creates something cool out of common household items. Brings it to school, where one would think he would get constructive feedback from peers and educators, and instead, he gets the police called on him and is referred to counseling???
In my view, it’s the vice-principal who needs the counseling. This entire mess could have been avoided if he had asked one simple question, “What’s that?” And, one would think, being the principal of a technology school, that he’d either have the expertise or have a teacher who would have the expertise to look at this Gatorade bottle and say, “yeah, it’s suspicious,” or “no, there’s no explosive in there.” All before calling in the police.
Instead, there was a complete overreaction, a student is forced into counseling (for what???), and the vice-principal stays in his ivory tower, to overreact another day.
And the “experts” wonder why so many of our kids are unmotivated, sitting on the couch all day, drooling and eating Doritos in front of stupid video games.