elthumper asks:

Can my daughter's principal question her over and over again about the same incident?

My daughter is in 5th grade. After school, she attended cheer practice. At some point after practice, the cleaning staff noticed that the bathroom was "trashed". I didn't see it but was told that deodorant was all over the floor, a toilet was clogged and there were paper towels every where.

The next day the principal called several kids out one at a time and asked them about this. The coach asked all parents to talk to their kids to see if we could find out who did this.

The following day, the principal talked to the girls after school for 45 minutes. The girls told her that deodorant broke and the pieces fell on the floor. They picked them up. They also said that the paper towel dispenser kept dispensing towels and they did rip it off, laugh about how long it was but ultimately threw it in the trash.

She told the girls they would not be allowed to cheer in the upcoming competition if this wasnt resolved.

No questioning was done on Thurs. On Friday, she called them all in again. She demanded to know what happened. Again the girls said the same thing. Every kid (4th, 5th & 6th grade) was crying and scared. They were in this room over an hour. During this time, she called one or two kids in to her office, then another group of girls, and so on and so forth.

My daughter is afraid to go to school as she doesn't know what will happen next.

Is this legal? At no point did I receive any info from the school. This is a catholic school
In Topics: Working with school administrators
> 60 days ago



Mar 31, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

This is a tricky situation.  It sunds like the principal is trying to get to the bottom of the problem and the girls may or may not be offering the necessary information.  Since we don't know the exact damage that was done it is hard to say why the principal is persistent.  There could be several reasons: to make appoint that damaging school property will not be tollerated, that thie damage was costly and he wants those responsible to pay for repairs, he believe the girls know more than they are telling.  This is only a few. I suggest calling the principal to find out first hand the reasoning.  So what he is doing in not illegal.

As for your daughter...  You could use this situation as a real life teachable  moment.  Yu can have lots of discussions: doing what is right even if it means you might get into trouble, treating property with respect, learning from mistakes, if you've told the truth than there is nothing to worry about, friendship vs loyalty, how would they hive handled the situation, etc..  If she had nothing to do with the damage and didn't see anything, I suggest telling her to hold her head up high as she enters school.  If the cheer squad was responsible, then they might have to accept the consequences and then move on.  

I hope I have given you some food for thought.

Barb K

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