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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.”
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.
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
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.
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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