The Remarkable Principal Mike Berblinger and Rosary Beads as Gang Symbol (Remarkable Principal #1)

Last weeks What Would You DO?

Loveland school seizes rosary beads from student, says they’re ‘gang symbol’


We had a great group of comments, all centering around the issue of making sure the parents were informed when the initial discussion with the student about the beads occurred.  Had that happened, there probably would not be a problem at this point.  Legally, this incident goes back to the landmark Tinker case about freedom of speech and expression in public schools.  The Tinker cases ruling was that a school has a right and responsibility to control speech and expression when that speech and expression would cause a disruption in the safe and orderly operation of the school.  Gang activity can certainly be expected to cause disruption in school and safety for kids in that school and community.  In my opinion, it is the correct course of  action for the school to pursue disciplinary action for the student, but make sure the parents are notified of every discussion and action with the student.

Gang signs and symbols change almost daily and we need to keep in contact with law enforcement and other agencies that deal with this problem so we may be informed.  Then we can correctly inform our parents and students.  Every law enforcement or local agency that I have had an opportunity to work with was glad to have the partnership and help from the school community.

Next Weeks What Would You Do?

NBC television network is having what they call “Education Nation” this week.  The Today Show, Morning Joe, and others are interviewing politicians, personalities, journalists, education ‘experts’ and whomever else wishes to put in their two cents worth about how to fix the education system in the United States.  If you were given the opportunity, what would you say in a minute or two that would speak to the issue of; the education system is “fine”, it just needs tweaking; the education system is “broken” and needs fixing; or the education system is “obsolete” and needs to be replaced.  Please respond by this Friday I will send you the responses, verbatim, without using names.

This week’s Remarkable Principal conversation will be with Tom Albers, Assistant Principal at Hays High School and KASSPs Assistant Principal of the Year.  I will get that out to you later this week.

This episode’s interview is with Mike Berblinger, Principal at Buhler (KS) High School and Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals (KASSP) Principal Of The Year

Mike Berblinger named Principal of the Year
Each year, the Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals recognizes middle school and secondary school principals for outstanding and exemplary leadership – in the organization and to the profession. This year, Mike Berblinger, Buhler High School, has been named Principal of the Year by KASSP and MetLife.Berblinger grew up in Sterling, Kansas. He received his undergraduate degree from Fort Hays State University in 1982, began his teaching and coaching career in Dighton, Kansas where he taught for 3 years.In 1985 Mike moved back to his hometown and taught and coached in Sterling for seven years. He earned his masters in educational leadership from the University of Kansas in 1994 and served as a principal in Sterling at the elementary, middle and high school levels for a combined nine years.In 2001 Mike and his family moved to the Buhler School system where he has served as the high school principal for the past eleven years. He is completing his doctoral degree at Wichita State University.Mike has been married to Sarah, who is also an educator, for the past 24 years and they have three children: Caroline 19, Luke 16 and Maren 15.

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