Smiles And Sunshine

Murdock Principal Compares Cyberully Kids To Iraqi Insurgents, Officially Becomes Greatest Principal Ever

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Murdock Middle/High School Principal Joshua Romano just laid down one of the most savage tweet beat downs of all time on some cyberbullies. Check out this story from the Telegram:

“To the pathetic cowards who chose to start and participate in this, you are warned I am coming for you and I am furious,” he said in an email sent to the school’s 700 or so students. “Winchendon PD is also involved. If you have posted on that site, you better take it off (but note I have screen captures and I will get you.)”

The schoolwide cyberbullying of numerous students appeared to have been set up mid-February under two different accounts on Twitter, @confessions2k15 and@murdockhigh2k15. Mr. Romano said the tweets included implications of sexual promiscuity and comments about body parts, sexual orientation, athletic ability and appearance, as well as other negative comments about students.

Mr. Romano said he learned about the Twitter bullying from several parents, staff and students during February school vacation. He said most of the students who contacted him had been targeted by the account, and some other students who saw the postings also contacted him because they found them so offensive.

He decided to take strong action for several reasons. He said so many students had followed the accounts and retweeted the postings that they spread them around to a large audience. He said that in trying to prevent such conduct in the future, a muted response would not communicate the message that the conduct would not be tolerated.

“I wanted to assure the victims and their parents that we would move quickly and decisively to end this kind of harassment,” he said. “So many of our students want MHS to be a great school. I want them to feel empowered to steer the direction of the school’s culture in a positive direction by knowing they have my support in reporting bullying and harassment.”

In the original email to students, Mr. Romano, an Iraq War veteran, said he would make punishing those responsible his mission in life, “until I feel those that are responsible for this and anyone who may ever think of doing something like this have been made to know how much I hate sniveling, cowardly behavior like this. I have more respect for insurgents I fought in Iraq than I do for people behind this Twitter account. At least Iraqis had the courage to face their targets and not hide behind a Twitter account.”

Say Cheese

Mr. Romano further warned the students not to test his patience.

“This will not be this kind of school and if I have to prosecute and suspend 50 students, so be it,” he said.

Mr. Romano said Wednesday he worded the email more strongly than he should have and probably should not have used the Iraq analogy, but he wrote it after getting off the telephone with a parent whose daughter had been targeted with many malicious comments, and he understands how much damage cyberbullying can do in a short time. He said he met with the student body first thing Monday and is looking at discipline.

The students who created the account will get a chance to defend themselves. Mr. Romano said any penalties will be decided in part by what is presented.

“New laws in effect this year discourage suspensions, but some form of in-school or out-of-school suspension would likely be involved,” he said. “If a student engaged in this behavior before to the same victims, criminal harassment charges could be filed at the discretion of the parents and victims.”

Mr. Romano said he has heard from one parent whose child was not a victim who said his message was too harsh, but he said he would prefer to err on the side of being clear.

“The worst thing school leaders can do is not take steps to stop bullying and harassment in any forum,” he said.

WinchendonPrincipal022515

This guy might have a couple screws loose. But I kind of dig him. My initial reaction was like, hey dude, you kind of scare the shit out of me. Don’t know if I’d wanna work for a boss like that. This isn’t Iraq man. It’s Goddamn Winchendon. Alright, I guess Baghdad and Winchendon aren’t THAT different. There’s just more trailers and campgrounds in Toy Town.

But then I thought about North High and all these other schools where kids aren’t getting suspended for being complete dooshnozzles, and I can’t help but respect the shit out of this guy. Think he gives a shit if you like his style? Nope. This guy is so anti-administrator. The complete opposite of the politically correct climber we’ve seen so many times before. The man isn’t asking for your approval. He’s demanding it. I’m not gonna lie, if this man told me to kill a man

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 12.14.56 AM

I probably would.

First of all, I am so, so happy that none of this shit was around was I was in school. It would’ve been bad on so many levels. I guess shit like this goes on at every school. It’s just so easy. But it never ceases to amaze me how teenagers can be such big dumbasses. Like, they think Twitter is this magical place that repels adults. If they write something on Twitter there’s NO WAY their teachers or principals will ever see it. Only kids can go on Twitter.

I hope the administrators at Forest Grove were taking notes. This is what you do when your students are acting like savages on the Internet. You don’t tell the people being bullied that it’s “free speech” because it doesn’t happen in school. The shit they’re saying on Twitter directly carries over into the school day. How is a kid supposed to learn when he knows everyone is laughing at him?

Yea, I know that the kids who are getting bullied can easily just not go online. But fuck that. It’s their right to go online. They have a right to go on Twitter and interact with their friends without being called whores, skanks, wack-ass bitches, or whatever else kids are calling each other these days.

For some reason Murdock High School looks like this.

For some reason Murdock High School looks like this.

The bottom line is we need more principals like this. We really do. Straight up, old school, put the fear of God into you, did three tours in Iraq, gives no fucks, kind of principals. Kids know they have “rights” now for some reason. You know how I can tell this guy hates that shit? Because he threw this jab in there when it came to the offending students’ punishments:

“New laws in effect this year discourage suspensions, but some form of in-school or out-of-school suspension would likely be involved,

AKA the government won’t let me take care of these McMuffins like I should, but there’s gonna be no discretion or deal making when it comes to the punishment. Your ass is getting the maximum. And worse yet, you just pissed off an angry combat veteran. Have fun watching your back the rest of your high school career you little nudniks. Sounds like it’s gonna be a fun four years.

And you know what the end result is gonna be? Some of these jerk whistles are gonna be scared straight. They know that if they do some shit like this again the Principal Romano is gonna rain down a shitstorm of thunder on them, the likes of which they’ve never seen before. So what do you know? When you let kids know that there are consequences for their actions, they conform their behavior and act like civilized human beings.

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15 Comment(s)
  • Maggie the Cat
    February 26, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    It would be incredibly stupid of any parent whose child is suspended for participating in this bullying to file a lawsuit over that suspension. Why? Because the parents are adults and their names will end up in the newspaper (if not the Telegram, then the Springfield Republican), and everyone will be able to figure out who the kid is. Once on either of those newspapers, the kid’s name will be on the internet somewhere, forever. A hiring executive who finds an applicant has a connection to this type of behavior will just toss the application in the trash and the kid’s chance for a job is gone.

    These kids think they’re getting away with this, but information on the internet lives forever and will come back to haunt them all their adult lives.

    • Wabbitt
      wabbitt
      February 27, 2015 at 12:16 am

      People aren’t always reasonable when their little darlings are involved.

  • jay shenk
    February 26, 2015 at 11:00 am

    The caption under the Murdock school was great. The reason they’ve got such a fancy school is that Winchendon is not exactly affluent, so they qualified for a lot of state aid to build a new HS. If you accept state funds, then you must build to state specs, resulting in a Taj Mahal. For Winchendon taxpayers that’s still way cheaper than refurbishing or building a cheaper school and paying for it themselves. That’s why more affluent towns often have older, refurbished schools–they don’t get state aid which requires them to build fancy new schools.

  • Beth Cobiski
    February 26, 2015 at 10:47 am

    As a parent who has children who attend Murdock, I am happy to say that we have a principal who refuses to look the other way to this behavior. Perhaps he could have used a PR person to better his words, but his message is clear. Our school and town get a bad rap often, and it is refreshing to have an administrator who is dedicated to getting to the root of the problem and holding those people accountable. Times have changed, and technology in the hands of children is not always a good thing. Unfortunately, many times it is used as another weapon to bully others. Children should not be afraid to go to school or feel they have to hide in their houses and not live their lives for fear of being attacked verbally, cyberly (if that’s a word) or physically. It’s about time an administrator says enough is enough and refuses to tolerate or minimize this behavior. Let’s protect the victim instead of the bully for a change. And yes, these kids, when they are caught and charged, will probably lawyer up and plea bargain their way out, but they will still be held accountable and have to spend some money and time trying to clear their names. Maybe that will open their eyes and their parents’ eyes to the consequences of their actions. We can only hope.

    • Non Sequitor
      February 26, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Bravo, Beth. /\ /\

  • One Tall Dude
    February 26, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I agree with Turtle Boy, down with cowardly anonymity.

  • Finnish Goalie
    February 26, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Sounds like the plot for a film in The Substitute franchise.

    Or perhaps Bryan Mills becomes a principal and uses his certain set of skills to find these cyber bullies.

  • devils mouthpiece
    February 26, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Chris Kyle wannabe??? He was in the military and stands up for bullied kids and you draw that conclusion. ROFL…. Priceless, simply priceless.

  • WorcesterBlud
    February 26, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Oh great, now we have a Chris Kyle wanna be responsible for overseeing our children. And we have a blog responsible for cyber-bullying trying to weigh in on the topic as if any critical response can be taken as unbiased. You and this world are both fucked.

    • Vanderbooger
      February 26, 2015 at 7:35 am

      No, he’s not a Chris Kyle wannabe. He isn’t dumb enough to put a deadly weapon in the hands of his clearly mentally disturbed friend.

      • Mack
        February 26, 2015 at 3:51 pm

        Too bad

        • Finnish Goalie
          February 27, 2015 at 8:31 am

          Parent response seems fairly positive per WCVB.

  • Wabbitt
    wabbitt
    February 26, 2015 at 3:46 am

    Unfortunately, the end result will probably be these little shit sippers getting suspended, then mommy and daddy get a lawyer and the principal ends up out of a job. Because the free speech of some little asshole is more important than the dozens of kids he’s tormenting on a daily basis.

    • Nate
      February 26, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      ayyee, to point out, on school grounds, any language usage that is harmful, hurtful, or derogatory to any minority group is considered fight words, fight words create a hostile environment, and therefor isn’t covered by the freedom of speech, therefor, Mr. Romano, who I am a student at Murdock, isn’t going anywhere, the kids don’t have a valid side to sue him on

  • Non Sequitor
    February 26, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Consequences.

    What a novel concept.

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