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    August 04

  • 06:18 AM

A principal's stand

marciadottin, marciadottin@nationnews.com

Added 24 September 2010

carol1

Sunday Sun Editor Carol Martindale takes a look at the Principal who is big on principles. Rules are rules! Plain and simple.  And as much as there is the cliché that says rules are meant to be broken, this is a folly. It is obvious that it is not one that Garrison Secondary School principal Matthew Farley subscribes to. On Friday it was reported that he sent home 50 students for breaching the school’s dress code. This isn’t the first time Farley has pulled out his measuring tape and carried out vigilant checks of both male and female students at his school and sent home the offenders to correct the problem before re entering classes. The issue has been burning up our social networking sites from Friday evening and even today, with the majority of readers of the Nation’s Facebook page and the website throwing as much as 150 per cent support behind Farley. I too have to agree with the overwhelming sentiment expressed. I must tell you I like and appreciate the no nonsense approach Mr Farley takes every year with the students. We all complain and read about falling standards in society particularly among the youth. Why is it then that when some people in positions of authority speak up and speak out and try to stamp out the indiscipline, we are quick to criticise instead of giving support. Sometimes it is necessary to take a tough stand when students are flouting the rules. There is something known as “Tough Love” that many would do well to implement sometimes if they are to set their charges on the right path. The reality is, if we do not as a society and as a people try where necessarily to nip the indiscipline in the bud it can fester and cause problems down the road, not only for the individuals, and their families, but for the country as a whole. Some on the website have asked what does the dress code have to do with grades. To mind these people have missed the mark by asking such a question. Obeying the rule as it relates to the dress code has to do with a larger issue than grades. It speaks to respect for law and order, discipline, and strength of character. The overriding question is why, if there is a rule in place, not adhere to it. Students are expected to go to school and learn and obey the rules set by the school as they receive their education, and not try at every turn to tear them down. Parents are also culpable in this regard. They are given a full briefing, verbally and in a written note about the expectations of the school - dress code, behaviour and the like. Why are they not making sure their children are not complying with the rules set by the school? They are as much responsible in this regard. We are not laws unto ourselves and as such must adhere to regulations and rules put in place whether it is in the schools or the workplace. Like I said, unlike the old cliché, rules are NOT made to be broken.

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