Principal Billingsley interviewed
on Logan Live. Click to watch it
Logan Live image
By Jessica Stewart, Courier Editor-in-Chief
Last Friday, Loganís new principal, Judy Billingsley, appeared on Logan Live for a special interview. I give her props for knowing plenty of information about the school, but that does not make up for the fact that she spent the whole interview deflecting blame onto other people and making herself seem great.
Donít get me wrong, Billingsley could very well be great, I donít know, but it annoyed me that she could sit there and praise herself while blaming the schoolís problems on other people. Sheís the new principal, for goodness sakesí, so she needs to admit to some of the mistakes and not go looking for scapegoats.
During the interview, she mentioned several times that she is new to the school, but that is no excuse. She was hired before the end of last year, and, in fact, visited the school before summer vacation started, so she had plenty of time to familiarize herself with the school and its issues.
For example, during the interview she was asked about the new lunch line system, which students have an issue with because having to go through two lines takes too long. She said, ďI didnít even know it was a new way because, me being new, I just assumed thatís the way it was all the time.Ē So, last year when she visited, she didnít see the cafeteria during lunch time? Or did she see it and forget? I suppose this is possible, although rather unlikely since she visited during finals week, and the lunch lines were quite long because of the combined lunches. A long line simply is not forgotten easily, especially if it is a first impression, and one long line just does not look like two short lines combined. Besides this, since it is a new procedure, the school had to change some things up this year, and, since she was definitely the principal by the time Logan began preparing for the new school year this summer, Billingsley should have at least noticed the lunch people preparing for these new procedures. Things donít just change automatically as we have observed this year. Itís very possible that Billingsley truly did not notice any shake-ups in the cafeteria, but what does that tell you about our new principal?
When asked why the counseling office doors were locked for so long, she gave a convoluted answer that simply did not make sense. She said, ďActually, because the master schedule, and we all know that it wasnít the best schedule, there were certainly some challenges in regards to that schedule and we needed the counselors not to see students but to really work on the paper part of the master schedule and make changes and that was why, because it would have slowed down the process.Ē So the counselors were not allowed to see the students in order to change in the studentsí schedules faster? Since when did that make sense? I believe she meant that the counselors needed to balance the schedules, because she then said, ďMy understanding is this has been the first time that Logan has done a balancing shuffle in September, it usually happens in October.Ē So, basically, in order to balance the classes early, counselors were not allowed to see the students with schedule problems. Is it just me, or does that sound like a bad idea? Because now, the classes are ďbalancedĒ but students with schedule problems are stuck in classes they do not want, because we are four weeks into the school year and to change classes now is academic suicide. Also, why is she glorifying the shuffle? Does she think it makes her look good that, despite the many issues with the master schedule, she was able to get the classes balanced one month early? Self-glorification just isnít a pretty sight when the school is going through a crisis.
When asked about why the dress code seems to target mainly girls, Billingsley first passed the blame onto others, saying, ďI think youíd probably have to ask the people that wrote the rules because it wasnít any of us, weíre all new.Ē She then went on to say that females have more to cover up than males do. So itís unacceptable for a girl to show a bit of shoulder behind a spaghetti strap, but itís okay for a guyís butt to be hanging out of his pants? Oh yeah, I forgot, his butt is covered by boxers, so it must be alright. Although, it does state in the student handbook that ďundergarments are not to be visibleĒ and that ďthe buttocks must be covered completely.Ē So why arenít the guys being popped? Clearly itís not the dress code that is targeting girls, itís the administrators.
Billingsley also blamed, or should I say gave credit to, the front office for the stricter visitor policy, the district for not having our transcripts ready, last yearís administrators for the house family system and the fire marshal for closed but unlocked gates. All of this may be true, but passing the blame onto other people over and over again makes it seem like she cannot take responsibility for herself.
By the time the interview was finished, I came away thinking, wow, did she take responsibility for anything bad? Did she admit to any of the mistakes made since she became principal? All I could come up with is a solid no. I felt that Billingsley missed out on a chance to assure Logan students that, despite the numerous problems Logan has this year, there are people working very hard to fix them. And she missed a chance to say, yes, Logan administrators, as a group, have made some mistakes this year, but we are all human, and we have learned from our mistakes. As a Logan student, I was not reassured by the interview, just annoyed.
What Logan needs right now is not someone who will find scapegoats for every problem, we need someone to admit that, yes, there are problems, and that yes, there are people working their butts off to fix those problems. We donít need someone who is going to talk around the issues, we deserve to know exactly what is going on. We need someone who glorifies the school and the people wearing themselves thin everyday to give us a good education, not someone who just glorifies themselves. And we need someone who is willing to take responsibility for both the bad things and the good things.
We need someone to be kind, be responsible, and be the best that they can be. I have faith in you. Ms. Billingsley, but the choice is yours.