My daughter went to her college counselor for help sending her transcripts to a college, and the counselor, apparently having a bad day, went off on her. She crumpled the request my daughter had handed her and threw it on the floor. She yelled at her for not following the procedure she wanted her to follow, even though it had been another administrator who had told her to take this request to this person. My daughter was ridiculed for the college choices she has made, and when shaken, she began to cry, this woman told her she didn’t care, and took on a baby voice belittling her. It is inconceivable to me that anyone could behave so cruelly, but particularly someone who claims to love teenagers, as well as her position as their college counselor. When this authority figure finally began to calm down, she told my daughter to keep this between them, because she didn’t want to hear from her mother, or for this to get around the school. Thank God my daughter did not allow herself to be intimidated into silence for more than an hour.It was a horrifying experience that couldn’t be ignored.
Naturally, I was livid when I heard what had happened, but not wanting to overreact, I thought long and hard to come up with an appropriate response. As upset as my daughter was, she was clear that she did not want to rob her friends of their college counselor by getting this woman, who happens to also be the Head of School, fired. I finally wrote to the vice principle to ask if he was aware of what had happened, saying I was considering how to proceed and would be curious to get his feedback. He immediately passed my email onto the very woman who had said she didn’t want to hear from me, and whom I was not ready to speak to. She called and essentially said, “my bad.”
I listened to her as on the one hand she took responsibility for her bad conduct, while on the other hand she threw out one excuse after another. She’s overworked, understaffed, tired, etc. As I told her, that changes nothing.
The thing she said that has continued to bother me the most is that we all do this at one time or another. Sure, no one is perfect, but I have NEVER done to anyone, what she did to my daughter. I will NEVER speak to anyone, or belittle them the way she did. And yes, never say never, and all of that, but I live by the theory of treat others as you wish to be treated yourself.
In the end she has apologized and I hope I really have given her the “wake up call” that she claims I have. I have told her I will absolutely go after her if I ever hear of her going off on another child, but short of going to the board and getting her fired, I don’t know what else can be done. I find it so disheartening that she feels everyone behaves this way. I just can’t get over it.