There is a great deal of discussion around the events of last week that resulted in a nurse taking her own life. What was thought to be a prank by a radio station turned into something much bigger and more significant. It also leaves a number of questions for society.
Jacintha Saldanha by all accounts was a quality nurse who cared a great deal about her patients and her profession. One family member is quoted as saying “People are saddened – it is still all very raw. She was well known and well liked in the community and she will be a loss. She felt especially privileged to work in the hospital in London – everyone is deeply shocked and saddened.”
We often talk at LCC about appropriate actions and decision-making. Who makes a decision to phone a hospital to find out personal information about people and their illness? At what point in the decision making process did these people ever think that this could go wrong or what they were doing was hurtful? Is everything acceptable for radio or TV ratings no matter what privacy is taken for granted? Just because the prankster thinks it’s funny, is it really funny? Why didn’t the bystanders, other people that knew about the prank, do anything to stop it?
The lesson is very clear now, way too far after the act and decidedly after a serious incident occurred, people realized their wrongdoing. They too are now saddened by their actions. What gives the right of someone to harass other people so an innocent person is harmed?
At LCC we have polices and procedures in place to stop harassment and bullying. We strive to provide a safe and secure environment in which to learn. We have people such as Ms. Shadley and Ms Grostern to offer support. . But often it’s bad decision making and reflection after the fact that are difficult to deal with. It is our hope that you will think before you act and in all cases be kind to all people. In the end no one gets hurt with kindness.
If you wish to have your say on this subject, join me on Twitter: StevePoplar@lcc, #prankshurt. –Steve Poplar, Assistant Head – Student Life
Scott Fried is a professional motivational speaker who had a positive impact this week on all of our students from grades 6-12. He also met in the evening with a large group of engaged parents. His primary focus was coping with the challenge of life for pre-teens and adolescents and the importance of mutual acceptance.
Scott stressed that words do hurt and can have a lasting and negative impact. While urging students to be respectful and accepting of peers, he reminded his audiences that all children feel pain on the long and often lonely road to adulthood. As children grow and change, we adults need to acknowledge the pain that teens sometimes feel because inevitably life does hurt; indeed, life itself can be a bully. Scott urged us to openly acknowledge the feelings of our students and children and not neglect hurt feelings or try to wash them away.
What seemed to resonate most with our students was the phrase “I am enough.” Scott wants us to meet, accept and cherish young people in the moment for who they are. We should not bury them in a sea of seemingly endless expectations. This only reinforces the implicit message that they are never good enough. Teens also have secrets during this critical period of “becoming” on their journey to adulthood. Mistakes will be made along the way, which is normal. As teachers and parents, our role as key adults in their lives is to help children develop a healthy posture of self-acceptance before they can move on confidently toward a path of self-improvement.
I had an opportunity to speak with Scott at the end of a very long day. He strongly complimented our school and the initiatives we are taking. I noted that our success is rooted in a faculty of dedicated educators who generally see our students as “more than enough.” We have many trusted adults here. They proactively bear witness to the hurdles and challenges of so many young people. When we team and partner with our parents in a positive way; that’s what truly makes a difference! – Chris Shannon, Headmaster