Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Life gets tough when someone you thought the world of may not be so worthy after all.

It’s been a couple of very stressful days at WCMIK’s high school. It’s an urban high school, and it has its share of problems, but one of the factors in its favor was its principal, a hard-hitting but compassionate man who kept up good relationships with the students, and with the parents, and with the school board. He was the modern model of the perfect high-school principal.

This past weekend, he was arrested for, among other things, cocaine possession. It’s been awfully hard to deal with. Nobody – absolutely nobody – had any sort of inkling he had any sort of problems. He had a reputation of being scrupulously honest – as one parent put it, an absolute Boy Scout. He was well known for taking at-risk students and helping them to straighten themselves out. So how? … why? … what happened?

Yes, under the American system, we must assume he’s innocent until proven guilty. But the arrest alone is enough to shake many parents’ confidence. What hurts the most, I suppose, is that we believed in his honesty and integrity. We saw that he was doing good things with the school. We met him at parent meetings, and we knew that he really cared about what was best for the students.

And then – this.


Anonymous jesse said...

I don't know if it can provide much solace, but many very capable, movers-n-shakers type people have an amazing ability to compartmentalize their brains. Thus, the principal could have stashed his usage into a compartment and sealed it off while other compartments contained a true, honest, and very good person. The one compartment does not change the fact that he really cared about his students.

Tue Dec 13, 01:59:00 PM MST  

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