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Carly Davis

EDAD 633
Case Study #1
Case 21: When Students Take Matters into Their Own Hands

Step 1
Summarize the case
A small middle school, Dry Creek Middle School, in Rockbed, California is being
forced to give one of their more popular teachers to another school in the district.
The other middle school, Baxter Middle School, had a large increase in their
student population because of a new housing addition in the area. The principal
and the staff of the smaller school tried talking to the superintendent and he
denied all of their requests to keep the teacher. Some of the students, their
parents, and some staff decided to take matters into their own hands and started
protesting and marching outside the district office. The superintendent ordered
the principal to come and disperse them from the office.

Step 2
Identify the problem in a single sentence
The principal of Dry Creek Middle School is pressured to chose between keeping
his job but making his staff and students unhappy or losing his job for the sake of
his students and staff by allowing them to protest the superintendents decision to
transfer one of their teachers to a larger school in the district.

Step 3
Select specific information from the case and categorize it according to
people, place, or program.
People
1. 7th and 8th grade students, attend Dry Creek Middle School. The students
are upset about their teacher being transferred to another middle school
and start a protest at the superintendents office
2. School staff consisting of 14 regular education teachers, 1 principal, 1 vice
principal, 1 special education teacher, 1 part time psychologist, 2
administrative assistants, a health clerk, a media clerk, and 2 custodial
staff. All staff has a close bond since the school opened 5 years ago.
3. Mr. Lincoln, Mrs. Washington, Mr. Caesar, Mrs. Grammar, and Mr. Einstein
teach science, language arts, social studies, and math.
4. Ms. Digits teaches math and is known as the most popular teacher at the
school. She is the teacher who will be transferring to Baxter Middle
School.
5. Mr. Sped is the special education teacher. He led the protest at the
superintendents office.
6. You are the Dry Creek Middle Schools principal and are stuck between a
rock and a hard place. You have to choose to either keep your job and

break the protest up or stick by your teachers and students and protest
with them.
7. New students at Baxter Middle School living in the new housing addition
cause the student to teacher ratio to increase.
8. Parents at Baxter Middle School push the superintendent to increase the
number of teachers at the school to make class sizes smaller.
9. The superintendent makes the decision to transfer a Dry Creek teacher to
Baxter and not listen to anyone about his decision.
Place
1. Rockbed is a small community in southern California that has little industry
but some small businesses and residential housing.
2. Dry Creek Middle School, 7th and 8th grade center, has a small amount of
students and teachers.
3. New housing addition in the Baxter Middle School area causes the student
population to rise.
4. Baxter Middle School is in need of a new teacher to make student to
teacher ratio drop.
5. Teachers meet with the superintendent at her office where they are
directed to leave.
6. Teachers, students, and parents protest outside of the superintendents
office.
Program
1. Dry Creek Middle School hosts 7th and 8th grade students.
2. The staff comes together to make the schedules for the students.
3. Mr. Sped works with the regular education teachers to share
responsibilities to better the programs offered for the special education
students.
4. The district policy makes the teacher with least seniority transfer, making
Ms. Digits the one whom has to transfer.

Step 4
Review and prioritize the data: Identify the category that contains the most
significant information leading to the problem
1. You are the Dry Creek Middle Schools principal and are stuck between a
rock and a hard place. You have to choose to either keep your job and
break the protest up or stick by your teachers and students and protest
with them.
2. 7th and 8th grade students, attend Dry Creek Middle School. The students
are upset about their teacher being transferred to another middle school
and start a protest at the superintendents office
3. The superintendent makes the decision to transfer a Dry Creek teacher to
Baxter and not listen to anyone about his decision.
4. Teachers, students, and parents protest outside of the superintendents
office.

In this case, the People category is the most important aspect. The problem is
mostly the decision of the superintendent and how he is handling the situation.
The growth of the community does add pressure to make changes but the people
involved are causing the pressure. The students, teachers, and parents are
causing pressure on you the principal to go against the superintendent.

Step 5
Refer to the data in step 4 to solve the problem presented in the case and to
respond to the case study questions
1. I would drive to the superintendents office and talk to the parents,
teachers, and students. I would try to talk them down and reason with
them. If they persist then I would walk into the superintendents office and
tell her they wont listen to me and that we will have to call the police
department to get them to leave. I would try to defend our case about the
student to teacher ratio and that it will rise just as the Baxter Middle
Schools did. Our school would not function properly if we lost a teacher.
2. I feel as though the superintendent did not even give the teachers a
chance to explain how this will hurt the Dry Creek Middle School. As head
of the district, she did not show any concern for their pleas. As a
superintendent you need to always show concern and listen to their case.
The superintendent failed to tell the teachers to take their concerns to the
school board meeting where it will properly be announced about their
issues with the decision.
3. There were a few factors in this case that made it difficult for the teachers
to understand the superintendents decision. Ms. Digits is one of the most
popular teachers among them and none of them wanted to see her go.
She is one of two math teachers which means another teacher will have to
pick up her classes which is already deemed difficult to do with her there.
All of the teachers were tight knit and worked well with each other and
would not want someone to have to be forced to move. Lastly, the
superintendent did not give them a good enough reason as to why she
was leaving, she did not even give them a chance to rebuttal.
4. I will walk up to the protesting teachers, students, and parents and try to
reason with them. I will let them know that if they dont stop I will lose my
job as well and then they will be losing two staff members, not just one. I
will sympathize with them and tell them I am hurt too by the decision but
the decision is final. We will figure out a way to make things work with one
less teacher and if we cant work it out then we will go to the school board
meeting and voice our issues. Hopefully they can help us come up with a
plan to fix the issues.
5. The school its self does not have any responsibility of the students if it is
not within the school hours. If the students become violent then the school
can take action and discipline the students according to the handbook
rules. If the students are only there outside of school hours and off school
grounds then the police will have to take charge.

6. I would speak to the parents about behaving like adults and not showing
their children bad behaviors. I would tell them there is a time and place for
their objections, which would be the school board meeting when the public
may speak of their concerns. They are to deal with this situation
professionally and not juvenile.
7. I would call back to the school and tell the other teachers to not allow any
students to leave the premises. If they do they will be called in as truant
because they wont make it back to school on time.
8. There are no consequences I could give to the students unless they do
not show up to school on time or become violent. If they become violent I
will call the police department and have them deal with the students. If the
students do not come to school then they are considered truant and the
police department will have to go pick them up and bring them to school.
The students will have to make up that time and follow the handbook on
the discipline of the offense.
9. We would have no liabilities because the protest is off school grounds.
The students will face their own consequences from the law for their
actions.
10. Depending on Mr. Speds actions after I talk to him at the protest will
conclude how we will go about addressing the issue. If he decides to listen
to me and leave the protest then we will put him on an improvement plan
and possibly give him leave time with no pay. If he decides to go against
my request to leave then he will have to be terminated. He was not acting
in a way our teachers are to act and his contract will be terminated.
Hanson, K. L. (2009). Case 21: When students take matters into their own
hands. A Casebook for school leaders (pg. 84-87). Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Pearson Education, Inc.