This week I found two interesting issues in the news which directly apply to schools and leadership of them.
The first involves a school which plans to distribute condoms as students exit prom. See the link:
I did not know that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends schools as an appropriate place for distribution of condoms. I fully understand that condoms prevent the spread of STD’s as well as unwanted pregnancy. However, I couldn’t help but notice the school distributing the condoms was in New York. Had this situation occurred in school in Southside Virgina, I can imagine the uproar from protesting parents would have been much louder than in New York City. The condom plan presents an interesting dilemma for members of the school’s administration; they must balance their need to protect students’ safety both inside and outside school hours with their need to promote the involvement of parents and the community and not alienate them. At times schools may have to adopt the moral climate of the community in which they are located; however, they must never forget their need to educate while protecting student safety.
I also read a second news story which involves a dilemma which is different in nature than the first issue discussed, but the debate it proposes is no less intriguing. The second story involves a high school girl who was suspended after posting a youtube video designed to promote suicide prevention. In the video the girl’s character actually commits suicide. Read an article about the video and watch it at the following link:
I would be interested to learn more details associated with the case highlighted in the article. I was surprised to learn the student who made the video was suspended, particularly because the video was made for a class assignment. I watched the video and thought it was fairly tastefully done and could actually be used to teach students to support one another; however, I am not privy to all details which surround this case and thus cannot pass judgement on the school administrators who suspended the girl. Perhaps other, extraneous circumstances led to the suspension. Overall the video appears to outline risk factors for a potential suicide and may actually be an effective teaching tool for school staff to use when teaching students about suicide, bullying, and their implications.