Tag Archives: principal-student relations

Personnel File 4: The Case of Linda

This case study is offered as a discussion starter. The incident happened. The names are changed, but the facts are straight from the principal’s mouth. How did it end? I’m holding that, for now. How should it end? What reasons would you offer for that decision? Discuss this case with colleagues in leadership.

When the phone call came, Linda remembered she had greeted the caller with a “Hey, how are ya!” because she recognized the caller’s name as a school parent. She also remembered that the digital clock on her desk read 1:32 p.m. But the vibrato in the caller’s voice stopped her cold. Jack, the caller, was a mortician; he said, “I’m sorry, Linda, but I’ve got bad news. One of your students killed himself with a shot gun. Linda, I’m sorry, but Joe Massey is dead.” Jack advised her to find a way to tell the students before they heard about it another way. She had hung up, immediately pulled the school’s two counselors into her office, and wondered out loud what to do.

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