Category Archives: school

Letter of Gratitude to a Terrible Principal

Dear Draconian Administrator;

We have had our disagreements these past 4 years (some of them have involved the police and courtrooms). I know that you shake your head in disbelief at my parenting strategies in the same way that I shake my head at your power trips and obvious dislike of my boys.

I want to first apologize for leaving our last meeting early, you see I felt that I was perilously close to violating several of my Quaker testimonies (simplicity, peace,integrity,  community, equality) and I just didn’t want to go there.

Mostly, what I would like to do is express my Gratitude to you. Sounds crazy, I know; but you have helped me teach my oldest sons lessons that I never could have taught them alone. Big Life Lessons. Important Stuff that will make them better, stronger people in the long run…

Thanks to you, they have learned to Stand Their Ground, to weight their choices and decide if their conviction was worth facing the consequences, to listen to their own hearts and trust that still small voice to tell them what is right instead of following the leader.

They have learned to Fight for the Little Guy, because sometimes those people charged with protecting the most vulnerable just won’t do it, and when that happens people of conscience have to step up and step in and join the fray in the name of those to weak to fight themselves.

They have learned to Question Authority, because no matter how well educated you are, no matter what your position, no matter who else trusts you – you may be wrong, and someone needs to call you out on that.

They have learned Public Relations, everything can be spun, and public opinion is rarely based on facts. Armed with this understanding, they can chose how they present themselves for others perception.

They have learned Civics up close. They now know the inner workings of the Police Department, the School Board, the City Council, and the Court Room.

They have learned persistence. They now understand that losing a battle does not mean you should quit before you win the war.

Most important (to me, at least) you have given me the opportunity to show them that I will always have their backs; that when they screw it up I will hold them up while they fix it; and when they’re in the right, I will fight tooth and nail to make sure they win.

Thank you for all of this, Terrible Principal. I wish you well, and sincerely hope that I can find a better way to teach my younger children all of the wonderful lessons you have taught their brothers.