Rethinking School Crisis Plans in Principal Preparation


  • Brett Anthony Burton Xavier University


middle school, crisis plans, school leadership, suicide, principal preparation


This story you are about to read is true but all the names of the individuals, except names of my own family, have been altered. I framed this story based on Pinar's (2012) question "What has been and what is now the nature of my educational experience?"  During my principal preparation program at the university level, I never encountered a course that delivered a curriculum that prepared future leaders to serve a school community when a school experiences a student death by suicide. I examined my own personal experience as a 7th-grade student, that lost a close family friend (friend of my father's) to suicide the night before my first day of junior high school in 1984, and connected that personal experience to my school principal experience of losing a 6th-grade student to suicide on a school improvement day. I applied the four steps of currere-regressive, progressive, analytic, and synthetic to reconstruct my experiences as a student, building principal, and current educational administration professor. I share this story because I carry these personal and educational experiences and apply the knowledge to the curriculum in my Principalship Course. I learned through the currere process that future leaders must not lose sight on the importance of creating positive and caring relationships with their school community as they implement effective school crisis plans. 


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