Saturday, April 10, 2010

We Are Family

I've mentioned the total awesomeness that is Big Kid's public school...but have I mentioned that his principal is flamboyantly gay?

I guess I can't say that since I have no idea (and no need to know) who he sleeps with but you would certainly get that impression within 5 minutes of meeting him. I was surprised at first--I didn't care at all, I was just surprised that someone so open about it would end up as a school principal in my very conservative city. Within 5 minutes of meeting him, you can also tell that he truly and 100% loves his job, loves the school and loves the kids and I really doubt anyone with a brain has a problem with it.

Firm suggestions from the school board to make changes that don't agree with his philosophy get some chicken head action with a finger shake. "Oh no they didn't! If they want to nix the second play period of the day, it will take more than a suggestion!"

He always puts the children before school politics or bureaucracy. He wants to help create people who are accepting, open-minded, socially well-adjusted and who feel as if they are a part of things. He also understands that kids will be kids and that those kids belong to their parents even while they're in school. He is respectful of everyone.

He is patient and perpetually happy--I hardly know him and have to resist the urge to hug his big soft teddy bear self because he's just so freaking pleasant! He'd probably like a hug, too. I've never seen him raise his voice, snap or even appear frustrated with the kids or the noise level.

I went to the school the other day for a small awards assembly and was delighted to see that he had elaborately decorated the whole cafeteria, complete with ficus trees and themed decor, and was wearing a construction vest (part of the theme, not a Village People shout-out) for this small event. As the kids started to get antsy (because awards ceremonies are boring as shit) he took a quick look around, declared that it was time for an impromptu family parade, hit the play button on his boom box and waved us all up to the stage to the tune of "We Are Family".

I wanted to laugh at the absurdity of dancing around the cafeteria to what amounts to the gay national anthem with my son's principal who was dressed as a construction worker, but I also wanted to cry with happiness that this guy totally gets it--he understands people. What a great way to get everyone back on track versus some crazy-ass brainwashing chant to shut kids up. How lucky is this school to have him?

I love him. I love that kids have this amazing non-typical adult male role model to look up to. Of course, they have no idea that anything is different or interesting about the situation but I think one day when they become wise to the ways of the world, they'll remember the influence he had on them and hopefully grow up to treat everyone as equals.

(Socially AND politically.)

12 comments:

PaperCourt said...

That is awesome!

Allie said...

Great post, awesome principal. He does sound like a winner.

Jewelie said...

That guys sounds amazing. I wish I'd had a principal like that.

Jennifer said...

This is an amazing post. You are so fortunate to live in a town that does not have a complete fit over this. Here he would probably be tarred and feathered before he was run out of town. I keep wondering why I moved back.

E said...

Fantastic. I am always so delighted by anyone who doesn't get the life sucked out of them by the bureaucracy of the job...who keeps the spirit alive! I would have cried, definitely.

Maggie said...

Amazing! This post makes my heart glad.

Lin said...

He sounds like a totally cool dude. I wish I had a principle like that back in the day.

AnastasiaBeaverhousen said...

I am so jealous - our principal is just waiting out his final years till retirement.....and it definately shows. Yay for a person (gay or straight) that gets it and understand the importance of engaging our children and making them feel like they matter!!!! and yay for a good old gay dance parade - how can you not feel good after one of those! :)

Caren said...

He sounds fantastic!

sarah said...

How wonderful! It's always nice to see evidence that there are people out there who really see the importance of connecting with kids and not just preaching at them.

Layne Street said...

I just want to know if you participated in the dancing?

Cake said...

This is probably my favorite post ever from you!

It’s so typical to read reports of oppression; it was wonderful to hear a firsthand account of acceptance. I’m excited to see how equality progresses as our generation and the next become leaders.

Thanks for sharing!

Cake