You’re not the boss of me now, and you’re not so big


by Jeff Fecke, August 14, 2008 • Boy, I really feel bad for this guy:

A Massachusetts high school principal who was quoted in a magazine as saying that some teenagers had made a pact to get pregnant has resigned.

Gloucester High School principal Joseph Sullivan said Tuesday that he doesn’t have the trust, confidence or respect of the mayor and superintendent.

Whyever did he lose the trust of the mayor and superintendent? Maybe because he asserted that a pregnancy pact existed in his school that did not, in fact, exist? Maybe because that nonexistent pact was used to slut-shame every girl in Gloucester, especially the girls who got pregnant? Maybe because being a teenage parent is hard enough without your principal throwing you to the wolves — and because any principal that would throw you to the wolves obviously doesn’t have the interests of his students at heart?

Of course, he’s really mad at everyone but himself:

In a statement obtained by the Gloucester Daily Times on Tuesday, Sullivan said he “gave a direct, truthful and honest answer,” when asked by a reporter about the topic.

“In the aftermath of that interview, while I was advised by the superintendent of schools not to make any public comments, and while I had to move out of my own house to avoid ‘news’ reporters and harassing phone calls, the mayor held a press conference and publicly slandered my reputation, my integrity and my intelligence,” he said.

Slander is, strictly speaking, making a statement about somebody that is knowingly false. Mr. Sullivan, you said that students in your school, students you’re supposed to care about, had made a pregnancy pact. You said this to a national magazine. You said this with no evidence to back it up. And it was demonstrably false. Had my daughter been one of your students, even one of the “good” ones who didn’t get pregnant, I’d be screaming for you to be fired, every day from now until doomsday. You deserved to have your integrity and your intelligence questioned, and if your reputation is in tatters, well, at least you haven’t had not one, but two articles written about you in Time, explaining why you’re a dirty slut who can’t keep your legs closed. At least you didn’t have your sexual life dissected on national television by people who didn’t even know you. At least nobody indicated that you made your horribly irresponsible decisions about reproduction by yourself, or that your partner was not even to be part of the conversation, unless she could be used to make you look bad.

In short, if people refrain from spitting on you, I think your reputation is about where it belongs, and it is my fervent wish that you never, never, never be placed in a position of authority in education ever again.