By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
I am usually very hard to surprise or shock. I have, in my 60 years on Earth, witnessed some harrowing events — and I am not talking about events like the Holocaust or the Battle of Gettysburg — but I am talking about events swirling around the hubris of arrogant but weak and insecure human beings. Even recently, I have witnessed the meltdown of the arrogant Beverly Hall Administration in the Atlanta Public Schools and of the Crawford Lewis Administration in DeKalb County Public Schools. I have watched and heard of other Georgia school superintendents being indicted and even committing suicide before some apparent impending shame. I am always reminded of the quote in Holy Writ: “Let him who thinks he stands, take heed lest he falls.”
There is counsel in the multitude of many. I would rather consult with one or two of my trusted advisors before I bring to light information which no doubt will prove to be embarrassing to one superintendent and will call for an candid and forthright explanation. I don’t enter into this revelation lightly and will certainly give ample space in this forum for the superintendent to explain what has happened. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth [the keyboard] speaks.
I have seen the mighty metaphorically fall on a number occasions. It is not a pretty sight. Vile words tend to come back to haunt a person. My wise, wise father (who himself was a teacher, coach, assistant principal, and principal) often said, in essence, this: “Don’t speak (or write) when you are angry.” My father was a wise man.