Sunday, May 20, 2012

Blowing in the Wind

I've been trying to do a post for almost 2 weeks now, with these few pictures I snapped with my phone, during the long walks I've taken to clear my mind.

It's been a really tough couple of weeks.
There has been a lot of trouble at the school where my 2 younger kids attend, and it's been difficult to get my head around a post. Or anything else, as a matter of fact.

First the 6th years (this is their final year) held a "rave" in their common room, barricaded the door, played loud music for an hour (and missed class) and danced. As "end of school" pranks here go, it seems fairly harmless, but they did expect the common room would be taken from them as a punishment.

Then other goings-on emerged, of fruit peel being thrown in the direction of the deputy principal, and name-calling, then some "social media" posts.

The situation quickly escalated, some students were expelled, some suspended, and last night we got a TEXT telling us that classes have now been terminated for all of them, and their Graduation ceremony (planned for next Wednesday) has been cancelled. The actions of a few have had huge repercussions on many.

Needless to say, they are upset, we're upset and worried. They sit their Leaving Cert in 2 and a half week's. Many of them are too wrapped up in it all to do any work, spending their time checking the latest news. They're a bit like the kites in these pictures, being blown around by the wind!

So, this morning I woke with a splitting headache. I never get headaches, and couldn't tell you the last time I had to take paracetamol. But today I did, then I went for a long walk in the park. That somewhat cleared my head, but I came home to a list of emails from parents planning a "Graduation Ceremony"- they're having a meeting tomorrow for all parents of 6th years, but to be honest, I don't think I'll go, because I can't take much more of this. In any case, I have neither the time nor the energy to help in organising such a ceremony.

I haven't decided yet whether I will go to the Grad, assuming that it takes place. That will be up to my daughter. Other than being in the Common Room during the "rave", she has done nothing wrong, yet she has lost her last day at school.
She has always got on extremely well with all her teachers, yet she won't have the opportunity to say goodbye and "thank you"  to them.  Through her 6 years at the school, she always said "Thank you " to the teacher at the end of every class; in her own words "I treat them like human beings". That makes me feel so proud!

Now I feel lost, sad.  As a teacher, some of my instinct is that there must be stuff that we don't know, that a head wouldn't terminate classes without good reason. But then who would terminate classes for an entire year, by text, at 8.00 on a Friday night? And why are the entire year being punished for the actions of a few? I hoped they would find a way that didn't involve such a sad ending.
                                              (the start of the "Wicklow Way" in Marlay Park)
Any thoughts?


  1. Wow. That's quite an ending to a school year. It always depends on who's in charge around here as to what happens. But I agree that it's a shame to punish all for the behavior of a few. That just reeks of military.

    1. Pam, that seems to be the case here too, they've a new head this year. Thanks for the empathy.

  2. There's something wrong with a system that allows the actions of the few to control the lives of the many. Seems like more and more that is THE system in the world. I'm sad for your daughter and her class...this is such an important time for them all. Our graduating kids are going through the same results for different reasons. If I didn't know that there are many, many teachers who do think about the kids, I'd start to wonder who they really cared about. But again...the few vs the many.

    1. Stephanie, your first sentence about sums it up! The teachers in their school had a fantastic relationship with them,one of my favourite things about that school. I'm sad for them too that it's ended this way.
      Thanks for your wise comment and empathy.

  3. What a shame, and to do it all without any kind of dialogue is atrocious - isn't he supposed to be an educator? How is this educating? Wouldn't both students and parents have benefited more if he treated it like a learning experience? I'm so sorry for all the kids and teachers who's memories are being spoiled.

  4. I am sorry to hear this. I agree with you and the others that it is not fair to make everyone suffer because of the actions of a few. I hope it all works out for the best for your daughter.

  5. Oh dear, I am so sorry to hear of your troubles.:(( We always worry the most when it is about our kids and their well-being. I can understand it is no fun and it feels a bit far fetched to me...
    Still you managed to capture some beautiful shots, I too always find consolation in nature.
    Hope it will all resolve very soon.

  6. It sounds like the administration has painted everyone with the same tainted brush. So sorry at the unfairness of it all.

  7. Hello Mimi, things seem a bit upside down for you and your daughter right now...I hope things right themselves soon without any lasting repercussions for her education.

  8. This seems a very over the top response from the school. Yes, the students shouldn't have done this. But a lot has happened this year besides that hour. There are better ways to teach lessons than bringing down punishment on the entire community.

    I am sorry!

  9. I have never agreed with punishing all for the fault of a few. It isn't right in any sense of the word.
    Those caught doing wrong should be the only ones punished. They should be the ones excluded from graduation ceremonies.
    Seems like the students are being punished for a breakdown in supervision is what I see.
    So sorry for the heartache.

  10. Oh that is a shame for the ones not behind any of the trouble. And sending a text at 8pm on a Friday night seems a bit odd - like it was a very impetuous decision that could possibly have had a different solution had it been allowed to wait until the Monday. Perhaps a compromise will be reached in time, I hope so.

  11. Oh dear. Sounds like it started off as an innocent prank & got entirely out of hand. Like you say, there must be more to it than meets the eye.
    Your daughter sounds as though shes been caught up in something that that didn't really deserve the punishment. Maybe lots of others had the same thing happen to them. Just a few ringleaders thats all it takes.
    Hoping the end of term might be altered so they can do their goodbyes. I wonder if you could all get together to show your side of things.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  12. I agree--this just doesn't seem right. Parenthood is not easy, my friend. And the job never ends...