A LYS reader asks:
“Today I helped finish up an investigation of an employee. The employee’s actions could have very easily put students in harm’s way. Fortunately though, no harm was done in this instance. During the investigation it became clear that none of the students and few of the parents had any problem with the employee’s actions. As a result, at the end of the day, the other campus administrators asked me, “Who are we to judge?”
I thought this would be a good question for the LYS Nation. So, SC, as school leaders, who are we to judge?”
We are teachers and leaders. That predisposes the responsibility of “judgment.” There is “right” and “wrong” in the world. Just because someone didn’t get hurt is immaterial. Part of our job as a teacher is to teach and model moral, ethical and appropriate behaviors in our classrooms.
As leaders, we have a duty to ensure that our teams and organizations model and maintain moral, ethical and appropriate behaviors and practices. When this does not occur we must step up and “judge.” It is up to us to hold the offending party accountable, to correct the situation, and to ensure that lapse is not repeated.
As a leader, I’ve been asked many times how is it that I feel comfortable imposing my “judgment” or “beliefs” on someone or something. To which I reply, “When I volunteered for the job, I accepted the responsibility. They don’t pay me to do the easy things, the pay me to do the hard things.”
However, here is the caveat. If your morality, beliefs and judgment are dramatically out of line with that of the community you serve, you have two choices.
1 – Compromise yourself; or
2 – Face possible repercussions for your stance.
Choice number 2 makes your career a lot more exciting and a lot less secure. The old school LYS crew live and die by the second choice.
Think. Work. Achieve.