Stop blaming leaders
24 June 2022
Media coverage of recent after-hours cyberbullying behaviour in our schools lays blame at the feet of our principals and leaders, which the AEU wholeheartedly rejects.
The fact is our school leaders are committed to stamping out this behaviour, while also ensuring quality education programs, protecting student wellbeing and managing the demands of a teacher shortage crisis.
In a letter the Advertiser wouldn’t publish, AEU SA Branch President Andrew Gohl called on our media to stop the blame game, and instead educate the public about such issues and the ways we can support schools, leaders and staff to combat a much broader societal problem.
The AEU objects to the Advertiser’s Editorial (23 June 2022) “Where are the Golden Grove High leaders?”
The answer is that they are supporting student victims of online, after-hours bullying, while educating their school community about the severity of this problem.
This, in addition to ensuring quality education programmes, protecting student/staff wellbeing and managing the demands of a teacher shortage crisis.
While the school has implemented a mobile phone ban during the day, it is absurd to suggest that principals should be personally “held responsible” for students’ after-hours behaviour.
Furthermore, calling into question the future of the Principal, is unwarranted overreach by the Advertiser illustrating a lack of understanding about the complex role of school leaders and educators in 2022.
Who would want to be a Principal knowing that circumstances beyond their control might see them publicly named and shamed?
So rather than blame and criticise, what should be the Advertiser’s role in educating its readership about such issues and how to support schools, leaders and staff to combat a much broader societal problem?