In a lower Manhattan school yesterday a young principal came upon a student that was blasting music through a set of headphones.
The principal asked the student to turn the music down.
The kid pretended not to hear.
The principal reached for the headphones on the kids ears and the kid blasted him...
...knocking the principal out cold.
The kid just kept on punching, beating the principal, badly, as other members of the student body watched...with some yelling out their approval.
The principal is recovering and the student was arrested, of course, but the story horrified me.
I couldn't have imagined even looking sideways at our school principal!
In fact, seeing the principal in the halls was akin to what it feels like, as an adult, to having a police car slide in behind me in traffic:
"What did I do?"
I would smile and wave as I walked by:
"Hi, Mr. Valone or Hi, Principal McDonough."
I'd often get, in response, "Good morning, Fuzzy, are you behaving?"
Sometimes I was!
Yet I was always respectful and I was always kind of in awe. Poor guy was watching the whole school!
I actually only was called before the principal ONCE in a disciplinary manner. My buddy Al and I had skipped out to take his sick Mom to a doctor appointment. We got busted when we were spotted by the driver's ed teacher at Burger King.
Mr. Nicholson called me in.
"Three nights of detention, Fuzz and the misconduct report has to go home."
"Mom and Dad know," I said. "I told them why I left. If you had a heart you'd bury the detention too."
Mr. Nicholson laughed.
I never saw detention.
I even helped him pick some teams on his football pool.
The very next Monday I was summoned to the office over the morning announcements.
I was so nervous heading down there!
Mr. Nicholson closed the door...
...and handed me the next weeks football pool.
"I did good last week," he said.
And that's the story of how I put my feet up on a principal's desk.
"Get your feet down!" Mr. Nicholson said.
We both laughed.
I hope that poor guy in Manhattan is okay.
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