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Principal Who Called Special Needs Student a ‘Psychopath’ Is a Big Bully - Do you think this principal did anything wrong?

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Principal Who Called Special Needs Student a ‘Psychopath’ Is a Big Bully

Posted by Ericka Sóuter on July 19, 2012 

school hallSticks and stones may break your bones, but some words might get you canned. That's the lesson an Oxford, Pennsylvania high school principal learned after allegedly calling a student with bipolar disorder a "psychopath."

Apparently, during a meeting with the special needs student and his mother, Dr. David Madden was caught sending a text message in which he called the kid a "psychopath" and that he was worried this student would become another "Hinckley, Booth, or Oswald."

Further investigation revealed he may have also called the kid "the biggest accident waiting to happen" and "the inspiration for the CSI show on school killing sprees ..." in an email.

Now I have no idea what this principal has been dealing with when it came to this particular child. Madden may have been at his wits' end. And he is human and completely entitled to a personal opinion. But given his position, that was not an appropriate thing to do, especially in the middle of a meeting with a parent.

This kind of insensitivity is appalling, especially for a school administrator. Special needs kids require a great deal of patience and understanding and they need staff who are able to provide that.

An even bigger issue? He is the leader of that school and as such sets the tone others follow. Nasty remarks like that can suggest to other teachers it's OK to make snide, hurtful comments as well. After all, if the boss does it, why can't they. And what about the students. If the principal calls this kid names, doesn't it give bullies the green light to do it too?

Ultimately the school board decided to reinstate Madden with one condition -- he can no longer work with special needs students. Stories like this should be a warning to all parents -- not just those with special needs kids. We need to watch the messages and behaviors our children pick up from everyone in their lives. Clearly bad influences can come from adults as well as peers.

Do you think this principal did anything wrong?

by on Jul. 19, 2012 at 1:58 PM
Replies (11-15):
abmaddox1981
by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 4:13 PM
It never said who he was texting. I text about my customers at work all the time. Its my phone so it should be private. And the kid already had at least one conviction for violence against women. Its not like he was posting a pic of the kid on facebook with a caption reading "psychopath". I don't think he should have been texting during a meeting. The parents are trying to make it an issue because they want people to feel sorry for their son and deflect attention from the fact that he is a troubled young man.

Quoting Barabell:


Quoting auroragold:

I could care LESS what the "principal was dealing with" that brought him to such a meeting - his behavior and comments are FAR from professional. Period.

I agree. Even if the student had a history of violent behavior, the principal did not act professionally. Who sends a text message while meeting with the parents? Also, unless he was texting someone from the school, I don't think he should have been talking about a student in such a manner.

This article is lacking in detail. I could maybe see if he was texting a staff psychologist with his concerns, but even then, you would think he wouldn't do it while meeting with the parent.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Cindy18
by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 4:20 PM
What I think he did wrong was texting during a meeting. That is very unprofessional. As for the comments, if the shoe fits, maybe the kid is sociopath!
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fineyouguyswin
by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 4:28 PM

hmmmm crazy..I'll have to read up on it there seems to be more to the story.

elkmomma
by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 10:45 PM

WOW

I know we expect a lot from our public school teachers, but texting in meeting about a specil needs or any kid is just wrong.  How can we expect our kids to lean correct behavior when the adults in their world cannot?

I would think that historical past behaviors of the principal should be looked at carefully, although firing in this case is not justified unless he has a inappropriate bast as well.

psych_mom
by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 11:02 PM

He was actually texting the assistant principal. The other things that he said were notated in his student file for staff use. It was not to anyone out side of the school or administration.

Quoting Barabell:


Quoting auroragold:

I could care LESS what the "principal was dealing with" that brought him to such a meeting - his behavior and comments are FAR from professional. Period.

I agree. Even if the student had a history of violent behavior, the principal did not act professionally. Who sends a text message while meeting with the parents? Also, unless he was texting someone from the school, I don't think he should have been talking about a student in such a manner.

This article is lacking in detail. I could maybe see if he was texting a staff psychologist with his concerns, but even then, you would think he wouldn't do it while meeting with the parent.


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