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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)

TITLE: The Acrimonious Administrator
By David F. Palmieri Sr.


The Acrimonious Administrator

Why was he so adamant about not doing something to help this child? Another girl had bullied her, in her class, for over eight months. Lilly had asked repeatedly to be moved to the other fifth grade class to get away from Lisa, but her requests went unanswered. Her grades were dropping and her overall personality had begun to change. It wasn’t just Lisa that was the problem at this time. Some of the other girls followed Lisa’s lead in constantly picking on Lilly.

The principal sent Lilly to the new school psychologist’s office so that she could determine exactly what Lilly’s problem was. Lilly’s problem was Lisa, but the principal refused to accept that issue. The psychologist would ask Lilly some mundane questions then spend some time playing board games with her.

Lilly’s parents were perplexed when Lilly told them about her sessions with the school psychologist. When they questioned Mr. Leaven, the principal, as to what criteria the psychologist was hired under, he told them that the school had to write a policy on “Bullying” to meet a new state mandate. When asked why Lilly couldn’t simply be transferred to the other class his response was “it’s not in the best interest of the class.”

Finally, several weeks later the “Parents Board” of the school voted to allow Lilly to be moved to the other class. Within days she returned to being the happy eleven-year-old that she previously was. Her grades came back up as well as her spirits. Her parents were overjoyed that the change had been allowed.

A week went by when Lilly’s dad received a call from Mr. Leven. He accused her dad of “going over his head” and “refusing to allow him to work out a solution for the bullying issue.”

When I heard this story from my friend I was incensed. All I kept saying was “he had eight months, eight months to come up with a solution.”
During that eight months a child suffered because of an Acrimonious Administrator who refused to listen to anyone’s advice. Unfortunately dear reader, this incident took place in a “Christian” school.

My friend asked me the question, “when are we going to see some real integrity in Christians who are in responsible positions”? I had no honest answer to her question. I realize that there are many Christian people in responsible positions who display real integrity. I also believe that these dear ones are a dying breed as we “see the days approaching.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Murray08/09/07
I so agree with the cry for integrity among Christians. It's a function of holiness and essential as a platform for the Holy Spirit in us. Keep writing about it!
Marilyn Schnepp 08/10/07
I was going to look up the word "acrimonious" before I read this piece; but now I don't think I have to; it speaks for itself - and I can understand the anger of this writer by the lack of common sense (which is what I call "walking around sense") by the higher echelon. Bravo for speaking up.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/11/07
It's a sad testimony that things can be less than Christ-like at a Christian school, but we know that Satan is always looking for an opportunity to entice one of God's children into sin. Unfortunately, we don't have our heavenly bodies yet and are not immune. You told the story very well.
Clyde Blakely08/13/07
Pointing fingers at the administrator is not the problem. Fingers need to be pointed at the parents for allowing a board (which is usually elected by the parents) to keep an administrator like that in place.

If there needs to be an impovement in the administration the parents need to put pressure on the board for this improvement.

Where is the teacher in all this? Perhaps the administrator needs to do more changing in the classroom rather than moving the child. Focusing on the administrator is correct - he is not "administrating" effectively enough but the parents have more options than the administrator. Too long of time for all this to be going on.

God bless, keep writing, keep praying.
Ed VanDeMark08/13/07
Your story deals with a real issue. Sadly too many youth experience bullying. The topic is a good choice for this theme. A re-write or two would strengthen this good story. I over use the word "that" and find re-writing helps me clean up my natural tendency to over write. A writer friend of mine tells me "Make it sing Ed, make it sing." You're a good writer, re-write and it will sing.
Dee Yoder 08/23/07
Bullying should never be tolerated, in any classroom, but most especially in the Christian classroom. Unfortunately, often times a money-strapped Christian school puts up with nonsense for fear of offending a "paying" parent. It's difficult to confront or demand that behavior change is expected when the administrator knows how important paid tuition is to the school. However, as parent, I too, would do whatever it takes to stop someone bullying my child.