March 4, 2024

A View From The Principal's Office


I have read, listened, and watched with sadness and frustration as the adults in our state and country continue to struggle with appropriate, supportive, kind, and caring behavior at public events, specifically at schools.  These ugly incidents, the most public of which, have included racist comments at sporting events and a melee during a recent middle school basketball game, leave me wondering when we adults stopped understanding our roles as mentors and role models.  These actions, that have impacted our marginalized citizens daily throughout their lives, are being brought to the light for those of us whose privilege has allowed us not to see them.


I am left to wonder when did we forget that our young people are watching and listening to us and mimicking our behaviors?  While I do not have a deep understanding of the incidents that we have all been able to read about or watch, I do know our young people are watching, they are listening, they are hearing, they are feeling, and they deserve examples of positive modeling.  To yell at an official, berate an opposing fan, demean an opposing player, drive recklessly, or speak aggressively toward or about another human being anywhere represents destructive modeling.


There is not one of us, as adults, who have the right to model negative, destructive, trauma-inducing behaviors.  We are not advocates when we yell at an official, we are not supportive of our team or player(s) when we demean others, we cannot lift anyone up when we are putting someone else down.  I will say it again, our young people are watching, they are listening, they are hearing, they are feeling, and they deserve positive examples.  


Each one of us impacts the lives of countless others; for many this starts in our homes; however, it is not limited to those walls.  When we go into the community, we take the opportunity to model mentorship with us, certainly as a member of our educational community; I feel this daily. 


I am asking each of us to commit.  Commit to recognizing our impact on the young people in our community.  Commit to understanding that we are part of the vital adult fabric within our community.  Commit to being mindful that our actions create observable evidence of acceptable behavior for our youth.  Please remember that our young people are watching, they are listening, they are hearing, they are feeling, and they deserve positive examples - anything short of accepting this responsibility means we are failing the youngest, most vulnerable members of our community and our future.


Thank you for reading,

Nelson Fogg