Time for an Anonymous Letter to the Principal

By Dr. Robert Wallace

February 24, 2020 5 min read

DR. WALLACE: My family moved to Cali during the summer last year, so this is the first time I've attended a school on the West Coast. I'm a junior this year, and I enjoy my new school, but I do have one issue that truly bothers me. My physical education teacher is also our school's varsity football coach, and sometimes, he yells at our entire class like we're players on the football team. And he not only yells but also curses! One of my classmates in this class is actually a football player on his team, so I mentioned this bothered me to that boy, and the boy told me, "This is nothing compared with what he yells at our football practices and on the sidelines during our games."

Now, I know that sports, even at the high school level, are very competitive these days, especially here in California. But it seems wrong for a teacher and a coach to be yelling and cursing so much in a really mean voice all the time. It's as if this man has no filter.

Do you think he has the right to yell all day at his players? Do you think it's OK for him to yell at our class all day when we are running around the track during our fourth period class? I'm really tired of being yelled at, but I'm afraid if I speak up or say even one polite word back to him, that he'll get even madder and make an example out of me. Is there anything I can do, or should I just tough it out during my physical education class and be happy once summer comes? — Berated and Not Elated, via email

BERATED AND NOT ELATED: I fully agree with you regarding this situation. It's OK for a teacher to raise his or her voice once in a while to make a point or to stop egregious behavior from a student. But constant yelling, cursing and berating of students is not acceptable.

Mention this situation to your parents, and let them know you wrote to me here. Tell your parents that I recommend that they send an anonymous letter to the principal of your school. Have the letter remind the principal that 95% of this teacher's physical education students are not players on his team, and they should not be yelled at and cursed at constantly.

Once this letter is sent, wait one week to see if it brings about any changes. If not, have your parents contact any other parents of students that you know to see if they feel the same way. If even a few other sets of parents feel this way, it would be best to have a group of parents set a meeting with the school principal and, eventually, if necessary, with the superintendent of your school district.

Hopefully, these leaders can correct this situation tactfully. But in any case, do not excuse this behavior or allow it to continue.


DR. WALLACE: I felt compelled to contact you on your column about the girl who wanted to know if she should marry a guy she kind of likes but does not love — yet. She also wanted to know if, in time, like could turn into love. You advised her not to marry unless there was mutual love. Please allow me to disagree with your answer. I met a young lady on a Monday and proposed to her the following day — and we were married a few days later. My wife and I have been happily married for 52 years now! We have three beautiful children and five wonderful grandchildren. Love does grow throughout a marriage. Don't you think our marriage will continue to last? — Living Proof, Dyer, Indiana

LIVING PROOF: Somehow, I get the feeling that your marriage will indeed continue to last and flourish. Congratulations, and thank you for sharing your opinion and your experience on this topic.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: jp26jp at Pixabay

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