Monday, April 6, 2009

Principals have Secret Service these days?

I am under the impression that if I were to call the White House and ask to speak to President Obama, I might have a better chance of him returning my phone call than my children's own school principal. You have, I am sure, been in the position in which I find myself. You call to speak to 'Someone Very Important' and so your call is sent into the filters which help weed out the unworthy. First I asked for the principal and was given the guidance counselor. The guidance counselor set up a conference that the principal was supposed to attend, but, I got her AP instead. The AP sat in on a conference that had come to some sort of resolution. In turn, my son's teachers ignored everything I said...and the AP said. This was the first week of December.

Then I called in February, I was told that the AP I had dealt with was no longer at the school. Super!!! So I got the new AP...not the principal...God forbid, not the principal. I explained that I had already spoken to my son's teachers, the old AP, the guidance counselor...but no cigar. I was told that I would need to go through the new AP before getting to talk to the principal. The new AP sent me, not to the principal, but to the guidance counselor...again. The guidance counselor suggested that because my son's grades are good, I should drop the whole thing. Um thanks...maybe not.

So, I called again in March. I got the guidance counselor AGAIN. I asked her several questions that she provided less than acceptable answers to. can I talk to the principal? No. So, I called the school again and dropped all pretense of being a kind and caring person. I told them in absolutely NO UNCERTAIN terms that if they could not provide me with an email address for the principal, or give me her voice mail, or *gasp* actually put her on the phone, that my two year old son, my 8 month old daughter, and myself were going to be spending ALL DAY, EVERY SINGLE DAY at the office until I had seen the principal.

I must have sounded serious because the next morning the principal returned my call. She told me that she was aware of ONE occasion that I tried to reach her, but that she had delegated it to her AP. I then asked what should have happened when I called to say that the teachers were not doing anything that they agreed to do at the conference and that the matter was ongoing. "Well, then I should have been made aware if it," she said. Okay...allow me to suggest that you look into how matters that at least one party thinks requires your attention are delegated.

So, she promised to look into it and get back to me the next day. The next day, I got a call from her secretary saying that the principal was very busy, she would return my call the following day...which DID NOT happen. Then Spring Break. Today I called and spoke with her secretary...she promised me that IF the principal is in today, she will make sure she sees my message.

Why in the hell is it so hard to bring potential problems to the attention of the administration? For example, I think that the principal should know abut cafeteria clean up duty for students...I am pretty sure that sweeping and mopping the cafeteria floor...might turn out to be a liability issue if one of the children get hurt.

*sigh* I HATE school.


  1. I'd like to apologize for the behavior of my fellow principal(s). I guess I can only speak for myself, but parent communication is one thing that should NEVER be delegated. Accessibility is one of a principal's greatest responsibilities. You were absolutely right to keep hammering away until you got her attention.

    Please don't paint us all with that particular brush . . . there are exceptions (a great many, actually).

  2. Time for a call to the district? Or maybe just let them know that will be your next call? Oh I can't wait. He's only 3 and I already hate the schools here in CA so I can only imagine.

  3. Does your school system have a website? If so, I would look on it and get the email address of the principal and write to her again and CC the superintendent letting her know that she needs to get in touch with you by X date or you are going higher up with your problem.