Wednesday, November 29, 2023
HomeEducationAssist! My Principal Is Asking Me To Lie for Her

Assist! My Principal Is Asking Me To Lie for Her

Expensive We Are Lecturers,

I’m a highschool librarian. Per week in the past, I turned on the lights in a partitioned space of the library and was shocked to see my coworker and a Ninth-grade pupil arise from behind a bookshelf. (The library was presupposed to be closed for testing.) I didn’t see something, and my coworker mentioned they have been on the lookout for a e-book, however I had a gross feeling about it. I instructed my principal instantly, and sadly it now seems to be like my instincts have been appropriate.  

Yesterday, my principal requested me to lie for her. She instructed investigators that I spoke to her in her workplace at 2 p.m. as an alternative of after I actually did (at 11:30 a.m.), and requested if I’d corroborate this story if I’m interviewed as a witness, so it seems to be like she reported it earlier. I felt pressured within the second, so I mentioned sure. However now I really feel sick about doubtlessly having to mislead investigators. What do I do?


Expensive S.A.H.,

It would really feel unfair that your principal’s timing is being referred to as into query when your coworker is the moral dumpster by comparability. Regardless, don’t mislead investigators.

If you happen to mislead police, you’ll probably have to inform that very same lie once more underneath oath in courtroom, which is perjury and punishable by a high-quality, jail time, or each. There are all types of how to show that you just have been in her workplace at 11:30 a.m. as an alternative of two p.m. Cameras. Laptop exercise. Geotracking on telephones. Eyewitnesses. And if a protection legal professional can show you and your principal have been in cahoots to lie, it could be straightforward to have a jury consider your story can also be unreliable. And the culpable trainer could get off scot-free.

Plus, for those who inform investigators you talked to your principal at 2 o’clock and so they decide the trainer and pupil left the library at 11:30, who’s to say you weren’t the one who delayed reporting?

I perceive that you just respect your principal, and it appears she could have made an trustworthy mistake whereas making an attempt to place out different fires. However she shouldn’t be asking you to lie. As an alternative of admitting to one thing that places simply her job in danger, she’s now asking you to place your job in jeopardy too. That’s not honest.

Meet along with her and say, “I perceive why you need me to do that for you. However after weighing the dangers, I simply can’t comply with lie about one thing that would doubtlessly weaken the case in opposition to [teacher], put my job in danger, or land me in jail.”

Keep in mind: The largest factor at stake right here is just not your principal’s employment. It’s the coed’s security—and the protection of different college students if this trainer will get to return to campus unscathed.

Expensive We Are Lecturers,

A number of weeks in the past, two coworkers approached me at lunch and requested if I used to be struggling to handle the conduct of a selected seventh grader that I’ve for P.E. and for science. I mentioned no, and we met to speak about methods or approaches they may study from me. Briefly, I realized these lecturers have been far more organized, affected person, and forgiving than I’ve ever been! We put it collectively that this pupil is hostile and defiant to all his feminine lecturers, however virtually jumps to do what I and his different male lecturers say. We have now a conduct assembly arising with each mother and father, the coed, and all seven lecturers. Is it applicable for me to level out this sexist conduct?


Expensive N.A.M.T.,

Don’t level it out. Ask them to seek out the sample.

“Let’s see if we will determine why your lecturers are reporting completely totally different conduct from you. Would you say you behave the identical towards all of your lecturers?”

“Which lecturers do you discover simpler to respect? What about final 12 months’s lecturers?”

Make a T-chart on the board or a giant Put up-it.

“OK, let’s take a look at this. You discover it straightforward to respect Mr. Harris, Mr. Patel, and Mr. Zang. You discover it tougher to respect Mrs. Evans, Mrs. Castillo, Ms. Perez, and Ms. Le. Why do you suppose that’s? What do you suppose this group may do to be extra like this group? Is there one thing they may do otherwise?”

Be prepared to listen to different ideas the coed might need. He’ll probably present just a few statements that don’t fairly pan out at first (“Nicely, these lecturers simply don’t like me” or “I respect the lecturers who respect me.”). Let these ideas have their area, however problem black-white statements.

I wouldn’t be shocked if the mother and father or pupil admitted aloud that it’s about gender, however belief me—they’ll obtain your message loud and clear. As soon as the coed realizes all his lecturers know the jig is up, I’ve a sense he’ll be much more agreeable (or on the very least, impartial).

Expensive We Are Lecturers,

One in all my highschool college students has been coming in earlier than faculty to speak about her relationship along with her boyfriend. I by no means instructed her what to do or made any judgments about her boyfriend’s conduct, and he or she determined independently to interrupt up with him. Apparently throughout the very ugly and drawn-out breakup, my pupil talked about, “Even Mrs. Taylor thinks you’re poisonous.” Nicely, now the mother of the boyfriend and my principal are each livid with me, even after I defined my method and even after my pupil verified that I by no means really mentioned it. I don’t get it—the expectations are at all times altering. Are we presupposed to be a listening ear for our college students or shut them down when the dialog goes exterior of college? What do you suppose?

—The expectation goalposts maintain shifting

Expensive T.E.G.Ok.M.,

I like to recommend taking this one on the chin. Reiterate that you just didn’t provide prescriptive or evaluative steerage. Make clear that your intentions have been to offer a listening ear. Apologize and transfer on.


It sounds such as you and the remainder of the school may use some readability on trainer expectations for being a protected individual to speak to. With all of the conversations about home violence, relationship security, psychological well being, and different SEL matters that lecturers are actually requested to facilitate with their college students, are lecturers additionally anticipated to chop their college students off after they sense a query coming that’s not about lecturers?

Earlier than you meet, resolve what you need to ask. Listed below are some good starter questions.

  • Ought to we inform college students that they will speak to us about issues which can be weighing on them? What are the caveats?
  • At what level ought to lecturers flip a dialog over to an knowledgeable—and who’s that individual on our campus?
  • If lecturers aren’t a trusted useful resource for college kids, do all college students know the place to show as an alternative?

Relying on how comfy you’re with spicy questions, you might need to ask in writing whether or not this plan has been vetted by a psychological well being skilled. 🔥 You possibly can inform them I despatched you.

Do you have got a burning query? Electronic mail us at

Expensive We Are Lecturers,

I’ve maybe probably the most irritating pupil I’ve had in my 10-year profession. Once I emailed his mother and father that he was being disrespectful and disruptive at school, the daddy emailed again asking what precisely he mentioned and the way precisely he was being disruptive. Finally this escalated to a heated guardian convention that my principal sat in on. Midway via, the coed’s mother mentioned, “Do you even like [student]?” I used to be so caught off-guard, I didn’t know what to say. Later, my principal mentioned I ought to have mentioned sure—that I’m supposed to love all my college students. I get pleasure from nearly all of my college students, however I feel this expectation is absurd. Who’s proper?  

—You possibly can’t make me




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