Saturday, February 21, 2004

Assistant principals 

Assistant principals are usually charged with disciplinary matters, which in middle school and high school almost always involve trivial offenses, at least in the mind of students involved. They are charged with enforcing petty rules, so we see them as petty people. This is why Hollywood almost always portrays the assistant principal as a force for a narrow sort of small-minded evil. See, for example, Ferris Bueller's Day Off or The Breakfast Club. In our memories we agree -- as a ninth grader, I held my assistant principal in contempt, and you probably did too. All of this is generally very unfair, of course. I'm sure that most assistant principals are just bucking for principal, and find the disciplinary role one of the more tedious rungs on the ladder.

That doesn't mean that some assistant principal somewhere doesn't deserve the reputation of his title. Consider the following from the Associated Press, dateline South Haven, Michigan:

An assistant high school principal is being investigated after police say he admitted to planting marijuana in a student's locker.

Now, the lead of the story is confusing enough, because "planting marijuana" could mean a couple of things, neither of which reflect well on the assistant principal. Trusting that even an assistant principal did not believe that photosynthesis was possible in a student's locker, I soldiered on and learned that Assistant Principal Pat Conroy admitted to "placing" the weed in a boy's locker because he was trying to get the kid expelled. The plan unravelled, however, because "a police drug dog didn't find the contraband during a school search, The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph reported in a Friday story."

Great job, Fido.

The assistant principal couldn't stand that the dog didn't find the pot, so he confessed to planting the pot, groveled to the cops (he apparently declared himself "stupid, arrogant and unethical," a fact widely known already -- I'm sure -- to the students of South Haven High School), but asserted that this was the first time he had tried to entrap a student. The police, no doubt former South Haven High School students themselves, were apparently no longer willing to take Conroy's claims at face value:

After Conroy told police his story, they searched his office Feb. 9 and found a drawer filled with packets of suspected marijuana and assorted pills, the police report said.

I'd love to hear what the students were saying in the hallways.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?