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Lakeside Principal Praises School's Culture in Monday Message

Joe Reed said the school has struggled with several incidents recently, but in light of last week's Connecticut school shooting tragedy, he's proud to be a Viking.

Lakeside High School has apparently struggled recently with a few student fights and an increase in theft, Principal Joe Reed said Monday, but in light of last week's elementary school shooting tragedy in Connecticut, he said he remains proud to be a Viking.

Reed sent out a message to parents over email late Monday night. Here it is:

The last ten days have presented our staff with some challenges. In six different instances, we have had student fights that resulted in the suspensions of the students fighting and for five students, their arrests.

In addition, we have had increased instances of thefts. These have also resulted in several suspensions and at least one arrest. Our School Resource Officer, our campus supervisors, our teachers and our administrators have been working together to bring a halt to these incidents and to bring definite consequences to the students responsible.

As frustrating and disappointing as these disruptions are, they pale in comparison to Friday's tragedy in Connecticut. Still the heroism and positive responses that were demonstrated in that tragedy have been similarly evident at Lakeside. In several instances, students have intervened to quiet disagreements before they escalated. In at least two cases, students stepped in to protect a staff member or a student from being hurt. Other students have alerted staff members when they got wind of a forthcoming altercation. Students also have come forward to provide evidence that helped to resolve thefts and return stolen items to their rightful owners.

What has also been evident to me these past few days and throughout the school year are the caring attitudes I see evidenced by the overwhelming majority of students. Lost items are returned to the office or their rightful owners. Students on crutches or in wheelchairs get the assistance they need from other students. Dozens of students showed up on a recent Saturday morning to help clean our campus. Several students spent their own money for shirts and formed a spirit squad to bring some extra fun to our home basketball games and donations for local charities. Frequently I see students reaching out to others who seem alone or dispirited. All of these actions make me proud to know these students and to be associated with Lakeside High School.

I know that it is our nature to focus on the tragedies and the things that are wrong in our own lives, our schools, and our society. I hope, however, that at this special season of the year, each of us will also spend time looking for the good in one another. I wish each of you a joyous holiday season!

What do you think of the principal's message? Tell us in the comments section below.

Tom Doolittle December 19, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Worked at the school today. Very orderly at class changes. You could hear a pin drop..and with no teachers looking over shoulders in the halls. Good schools respond well to adversity.

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