PHIL IN THE BLANK: Teachable moment?

Principal Gary Kaul described perfectly the circumstances behind Dr. Rod Rock’s decision to resign as superintendent.
It’s a betrayal.
He chose to engage in whatever happened in this “inappropriate” relationship with a former Clarkston High School student, over and despite his obligations as superintendent which he knew so well.
It seems to be very inexplicable, throwing away reputation and decades of hard work over clearly and inarguably horrible decisions.
How did either of them think this would work out?
What’s happening, of course, is mounting nationwide attention on Clarkston, not for its academics, community service, or sports, but a salacious tale of a older educator getting caught with a former student.
Especially with the #metoo and #timesup movements, paired with the former superintendent’s name, this will probably end up on late night comedy shows and other outlets.
Such a waste.
The incident will be investigated, but it seems likely nothing illegal occurred. The 19-year-old is an adult and no longer a student. However, Dr. Rock is correct when he wrote in his resignation letter, he can no longer be effective as superintendent. Parents need to trust the place they send their daughters and sons to is run by adults who are going to educate them, not date them.
Educators can consider this a teachable moment. In his letter, Rock said “I had an appropriate friendship with a Clarkston High School student. After she went away to college, it became inappropriate.”
Is there such a thing as an “appropriate friendship” between student and educator? Is “the principal is your pal” just a spelling trick?
Teacher, mentor, role model, advisor – yes, of course. Hanging out, texting into the night, dishing over the latest pop fad, maybe not so much.
It’s clear carrying on friendships with kids is a bad idea for those in charge of the classroom, as well as for any adult with authority, which for kids probably means all of them.

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