Remove Judith McNeil as Principal of Walton High School, Marietta, GA 30062

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The goal of this petition is to request the removal of Ms. Judith McNeil as Principal of Walton High School, Marietta, GA for the following reasons:

1.       For failing to promote the integrity, honesty, and health of students:

There is rampant cheating in the school, which led the school having to put up their academic honor code policy in every classroom. The school's environment is detrimental to the students' integrity and honesty. The school also has a 10 point credit for perfect attendance. The kids are so desperate for those points that they will attend school even if they have pneumonia. It's famously referred to as the "Walton plague". This attendance policy must go away, because it compromises students' health. The school has also adopted an aggressive "no partial credit" policy in hopes of improving standards. This policy has not contributed in any way to the school's ranking. It has only compromised the students' health, integrity, and honesty. The school’s national ranking has gone down based on U.S. News from a 100+ in the late 90s to 300+ presently.

2.       For failing to play to the students’ strengths and manage around their weaknesses:

Students come in a variety of flavors with their own strengths and weaknesses. It behooves a public school system to accommodate the overarching goal of ensuring student success. As such, we should be playing to the students’ strengths and manage around their weaknesses. The biggest concern about the public school system is the large student to teacher ratio. Allowing a course to be completely taken online would lead to smaller classroom sizes for students who enjoy a public school setting. Taking a course offering online does not lead to reduction of rigor. On the contrary, it allows the student and parent to collaborate and ensure that the student is positioned to succeed in understanding the course material in depth at their own pace. If indeed, the school is worried about the rigor of the currently allowed online schools (Cobb virtual academy and Georgia virtual academy), the school should use the charter waiver status (that they seem to use for making up undocumented policies only when it benefits them!) to expand the online school offering to other reputed schools such as Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, Stanford Online High School, etc. There are examples of well reputed private schools which allow up to 6 out of 20 courses that can be taken outside and also allow a complete subject area that can be taken outside, as long as it is within the 6 course limit. As such, Walton only allows 4 courses/credits in 4 years that can be taken outside. While this limit is fine and is documented in the school policy, there should be no restrictions on which subject(s) can be taken outside, especially without a documented policy.

3.       For making up undocumented policies using charter school waiver:

Ms. McNeil makes up her own undocumented rules citing charter waiver status of the school. For example, the school allows 1 course per semester to be taken online at Cobb Virtual Academy or Georgia Virtual Academy. According to Ms. McNeil, a student cannot take a course in the same subject area more than once. The academic policy of the school does not state this anywhere. We have looked at the charter waiver of Cobb County and it does not anywhere say that the Principal can make decisions without a written policy. In fact, it does not say anything about the Principal making random decisions, period. The Principal is typically never involved in approving a course. The students' counselor approves the course in accordance with their academic pathway. This Principal took it upon herself to disapprove the course for spite, because we wrote a bad review. The course was approved by the counselor and the assistant Principal for curriculum. It is important that a public school regardless of its charter status remember that it is funded by the tax payer. And any school needs to have documented policies to ensure all of its actions are conducted in a fair and balanced manner.

4.       For failing to address teacher bullying:

There is a pervasive bullying atmosphere in this school based on our personal experience and others who have reported the same on greatschools.org. There is a Math teacher who ignores answering kids in the class because she thinks that the kid doesn’t deserve to be answered. She also goes on to say that most of the kids in her class just want to pass the course. She picks favorites and also tells kids that they are not to involve parents regarding her “no partial credit” policy. The buck stops with at the top – with the Principal – and as such these behaviors should have been addressed.

 If you believe that the current Principal is detrimental to the school, please vote for this petition to remove Ms. McNeil as the Principal of the school.



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