Question: How to deal with a principle who is too controlling and parents who just dont care anymore?

In our school we have a principle who is VERY controlling. EX: We NEVER know how much we have in out account because everytime we ask for a budget or how much we have we are told to ask this person and we do and that person tells us to ask this person and so on and so on till it is the end of the year and we are still going in circles. We have NO control over the money and have to ask permission to spend anything BUT she can spend the PTO money on what SHE wants to with out even letting us know about it. Now i could go on and on with the principle issues forever! Like we are herded to a separate building that is hidden away and not allowed to talk to staff at anytime. Or how he keeps us from reaching out to the children who need our help but lets go on lol... Last year I was the PTO president and the two who won vp and sec did not help. I would call meets for the board and one would not show up and if we were not giving the other a free meal she would not come either. There is no parent involvement at all in this school but for myself and one other lady. We tried to hold meetings and if one or two parents showed up we were shocked. Then that one or two parents would agree to help during an event but then not show up. I am now getting ready for another school year and I know that no one will want to run for anything due to the principle. I do NOT want to run either because due to our Parent advisory at the school not following threw with what the PTO wanted to do for any holiday that the principle DID let us do. So what little we were allowed to do never happened because the Parent Advisory always forgot or just in her own words care and did not want to get stressed out over parents, who would WANT to run for anything or even help??? I do not know what to do because I am the only one there who really wants all parents to get somehow involved for their children. I am lost and do not know what to do. I do not want to give up on these children because we have a school of children who are already low in every way possible. I just do not know what to do....

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
Are you friendly with any of the teachers? You might start by speaking to a teacher or two who is experienced at dealing with this principal. They might be able to give you some insight and direction on how to approach him. You might also consider approaching the superintendent, although you can expect him to support the principal. If you do go to the superintendent, tell him unemotionally and nonjudgmentally that you feel like the principal is harming parent involvement by his actions. You want to help build involvement at the school. You've spoken to the principal with no success -- you're asking for help in mediating a system where parents can get involved and the principal can feel comfortable as well. In other words, your tone is "I want to help and I'm looking for the best way possible to do that." It doesn't sound like you'll ever be able to create great involvement with this micromanaging principal, but you might be able to reach a compromise. I admire you for persevering -- good luck!

Community Advice

Emacintosh81 writes:
I understand when your principal is that bad you don't have many options. I agree with what the other poster said. Go to the Superintendent. Try you hardest to focus your argument on your dedication to helping the kids. Let him/her know that what you really want is to be able to help the school, but you don't know how. Try not to say anything negative about the principal at all...less chance of him viewing you as just a whining parent. I wouldn't be surprised if the more parent involvement you had the less control the principal would have. I think when it gets to this point the PTO needs to start "recruiting." Forget the notices and just start talking. Talk to as many parents as you can. Get them to help. I've learned that people respond really well to just being asked straight out. I would also just go around the principal and talk to all the teachers. She can not keep you away from them. Maybe start off with your own child's teacher. Meet with her and tell her that you're looking to do more for the school and wanted to get a teacher's point of view on what the PTO should be doing. Don't even mention the principal. Believe it or not, strength in numbers helps. Of course, she can push around a group of 3 or 4 PTO parents. But, she can't just ignore a group of 50+ parents and teachers.

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