New Principals: You Can’t Say I Didn’t Warn You.

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As we get ready for a new school year, I feel a sense of obligation to share some important information with new school administrators.

I can only hope they are sitting down.This is Not a Happy Person.

Although new administrators probably aren’t sitting… or even taking time to read this blog (or eat or sleep).

It’s very likely they are busy drowning under the paperwork that is already piling up on their desk.

But there’s good news. They will survive (at least some of them).

In the meantime, this blog will be here waiting patiently (until they get their new jobs under control or become unemployed).

The information I’m about to share will come as a total shock because colleges and universities seldom share this little fun fact with the students in their graduate programs.

So here I go.


Are you sure?

Okay, here it is.

Parents are going to sue you.

A lot.

And by a lot, I mean several times each year (if you are “popular” this may happen several times in a single day… usually a day with a full moon).

You need to prepare yourself, not just for your impending legal trouble but also for the noise.

Parents seldom say they are going to sue you in a nice quiet inside voice.

They scream it.

You will recognize this event happening when you hear the cursing which is then followed by finger pointing (literally and figuratively).

As soon as you see a finger (hopefully index) being pointed in your direction, cover your ears.

Because the “Suing Announcement” is always concluded by the act of slamming.

After all, good parents must always express their love by yelling at authority figures (I need to check but I’m almost positive this rule is on the back of each child’s birth certificate).

The formula is a simple one. The Louder the Parent = the More They Love Their Child.

Parents get bonus points if they make a scene in a public place.

In the main office, at a game, the grocery store, maybe even at a funeral (sad and disturbing… but true).

But back to the slamming.

Parents can be very creative.

They will slam almost anything to make their point. It could a phone, office door, fist, chair, basketball… pretty much any object can do the trick.

The good news is once this happens, the conversation (or threat) is coming to a close.

There is something else you should know.

There is also a direct correlation between how loud parents scream and the odds of you really getting sued.

This formula. The Louder the Threat = Less of a Chance of Them Having a Lawyer.

So now you’ve been warned.

Let the suing (or not) begin! (if it hasn’t already happened during registration)

Lucky for us (people foolish enough to try and run a school) these threats don’t happen every day.

Angry parents usually take Sunday mornings off.

However the rest of the week, school administrators are fair game (especially when you’re trying to eat or leave school in a timely manner).

This doesn’t really seem fair to me because even deer have an offseason.

But those are the rules that school administrators have to live by, so make sure you have the school lawyer on speed dial.

Because you’re about to get sued.

Or not.

But you’re definitely getting yelled at.

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6 Responses to “New Principals: You Can’t Say I Didn’t Warn You.”

  1. Pat
    on Aug 8th, 2009
    @ 3:26 am

    This is so true! I saw that a lot in special ed too which is why as a Council for Exceptional Children member, I bought the $2 million liability insurance policy. I felt like as long as we followed the law and could document our actions we were safe but many parents wants to go to “due process” if they don’t get their way. I especially got scared when my administrators didn’t want to follow the law because they didn’t agree with it and when I stated that I couldn’t support them and sign anything that was against the law, I got in hot water with my admin. Oh wait, that might be another topic of discussion…LOL

  2. Mr. Clement
    on Aug 8th, 2009
    @ 3:34 am

    This couldn’t be more true. New principals have no idea what they are getting into.

    But they will figure it out really quickly.

  3. timgee3
    on Aug 8th, 2009
    @ 5:27 pm

    Aw c’mon, principals have an “offseason” it’s called July (if they are smart enough to actually take a vacation out of state).

  4. Warren Purdy
    on Aug 10th, 2009
    @ 5:53 pm

    Luckily in New`Zealand we don’t do the sue me sue you blues. But we certainly have the ranters and ravers and the barking mad brigade. I pity you – my bruthas in arms.

  5. Ned
    on Aug 24th, 2009
    @ 12:03 pm

    The few times this has ever happened to me I always ask one question. What is your cause of action? Most parents (except the lawyers) really get thrown off track.

  6. MTB
    on Mar 1st, 2011
    @ 4:44 am


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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.