Thursday, March 01, 2007

Taking the "PAL" Out of Principal

When I was a kid, the principal at my elementary school was Mr. Howes. He was a kindly balding man who was compassionate but firm, friendly and kind. He also didn't put up with much shit and had no problems using the paddle (they did that in the mid-70's, remember?!) Everyone loved Mr. Howes. Everyone believed that he wanted his school to be the best in my town. I am sure we all put him up on a pedestal, and he never let us down. I wish I could say the same for the principal at the middle school my children will be attending in a few years. It seems that the principal was busted for selling meth on Tuesday night. At school.

I am angry on so many levels. First of all, I am pissed that my tax dollars are paying the salary of a man who makes $97,000 a year while maintaining a side business selling meth. I am pissed that he showed such incredibly poor judgement by doing this activity at the school. As parents, we entrust our schools to keep our children safe and help them to thrive in an educational environment that is free of undesirable elements. I am amazed that the staff is so free in saying that they thought something was wrong with him, or witnessed his downward spiral, yet no one ever reported it--not even to the DARE representative who is based at that school. Frankly, their statements are only making me less comfortable in sending my kids there when the time comes.

I am utterly dismayed that when the police arrested him, they found him naked in his office, watching porn. While the whole act of watching porn on one's computer at work is nothing new, doing it naked is quite a bold move. I can't get on to some of my favorite sites at lunchtime to do internet shopping, but he can watch porn.

It is so hard for me to not judge this man. I am sure he is a good man who got caught up in a lot of bad shit. I can't help but think of the children and families he has helped over the years and how betrayed they must feel. Unfortunately, I am sure this case will only get worse. The press felt the need to report that he was watching gay porn as opposed to just porn, so I am sure it will be a matter of time before some parent reports an "inappropriate" relationship with his or her child.

I guess the lesson to be learned here is that no one should be placed on a pedestal.

UPDATE** Now the Bethlehem School Board has hired an unnamed law firm to investigate how John Acerra started down this path of selling meth. The article in this morning's paper says that the law firm will take as long as necessary to get those answers. Fantastic. Now the school board will be wasting EVEN MORE taxpayer dollars. Last I checked, this is the Police Department's job. Frankly, I don't care about the whys and the hows. I just care about the simple fact that it happened. We need to throw the book at him, have him rot in prison and move on. We don't need anymore irrelevant crap uncovered so that more comedians like Jay Leno can make this ordeal the butt of their jokes. Acerra just needs to go away.


Anonymous said...

Oh I love to judge.... The problem is people like this will never be used to set the example. We need harsh laws. What if every person who was busted making and selling Meth was sentenced to life in prison or even death, true some stupid and greedy person would still be selling.

NO!he will get a slap on the hand, go to rehab and maybe even get to enter a school again ( in another state). I am sure his union rep will fight for his job and Principal Meth will cry on the stand. He will revive some long lost childhood drama and say he just could not help himself. It makes me sick.

Where is the village when we really need one????

This person deserves to be judged.


MetroDad said...

Holy cow, Misfit! I read this story on msnbc yesterday and I was shocked. I can't believe this is the principal where the kids are going to school in a few years.

Anyway, I would be angry if I were you too. Is it me or does there seem to be a rash of misconduct on behalf of principals these days. Here in NYC, there have been all these accounts of principals stealing school funds and then cutting back programs for the kids because of a lack of funds! Can you imagine?

Anyone who would do this to kids should be locked up. I've got no problem judging this man. Selling meth at school? I'm sorry. He's got to be punished. we don't have enough to worry about with the state of public education in this country.

kimmyk said...

It's like a train wreck...

Arwen said...

ewwww on so many levels.

MiM said...

I'm speechless. So speechless.

Dad Stuff said...

Incredible! How are kids supposed to stand a chance with people like this in the school? I hope they throw him is prison until the prison rots.

merseydotes said...

That is unbelievable. I think you're being very nice with the "good man who got caught up in a lot of bad shit" idea. I think he sounds like a selfish, out-of-control jerk.

And I think you're right that no one should be placed on a pedestal. It's not very reassuring, but it's true.

(Hmmmm...the word confirmation is 'raise' which I hope is not a weird ouija board comment on this guy's future!)

Robyn said...

How many times have you moved in the past few years? My money is on that you will NOT be living in that same town by the time the kids are actually old enough to enter middle school. And if that is the way the schools are run there, perhaps moving one more time will not be a bad thing!! (in a few years, of course. Get unpacked)

wordgirl said...

I'm just glad it didn't happen in Texas. Our reputation is crap as it stands and we can't take any more national examples of what kind of idiots come from here.

Kara said...

Dude. that sucks. Unfortunately, in many schools, administrators breed a culture of fear and most teachers wouldn't dream of reporting anything for fear of losing their job.

Lainey-Paney said...


homeschooling is sounding better & better.

Lisse said...

Delurking just to say that you should write to your paper to say that the school committee's resources would be better spent finding the best replacement on the market. They owe it to the students.

Principals aren't always part of a union. And it is also possible that a teacher did say something to the cops that led them to the arrest. Sometimes bad people just become a part of the system but what's important is not to revisit the past, but make a plan for a positive future.

I'm still marvelling at the naked in his office watching porn arrest. It's a wonder the slime didn't die of embarassment.

Andie D. said...

I so agree with your update!

I think Lisse's onto something. Would you be willing to write to your paper? And the school board?

Misfit Hausfrau said...

I have been working on a letter to the newspaper for about 2 weeks, but the language is so ANGRY that I figured I need to step away for a few days and rewrite it to be a little mroe civilized.