While the public may be stunned by revelations about the college admissions scandal, one principal has stepped forward to say there’s nothing surprising about it. He and his fellow educators have been watching the same thing for years, if on a smaller scale.
As WTKR reports, Gerry Brooks, a principal from Lexington, Kentucky, is known for posting humorous videos about teaching and education.
In a recent Facebook video, Brooks addressed the news that multiple parents — including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin — have been charged for getting their children into college via bribes and fraud.
Brooks held up a magazine covering the scandal and pronounced:
“Everybody’s just so surprised about this. You know who’s not surprised? Every educator in the whole world. Do you know why? Because this kind of thing happens every day in schools.”
For Brooks, the admissions scandal boils down to a parent who disagrees with a policy (or law) deciding to do what they wish “because they think it’s best for their child.”
Ain’t none of us sirprised, for reals…Instagram: @Gerrybrooksprin
Posted by Gerry Brooks on Tuesday, April 9, 2019
That’s something the principal sees regularly, if on a different scale. He gave a few examples, like:
“I signed my child’s reading log. He didn’t read, but we had a soccer game until 10:00. And I disagree with that policy. They shouldn’t have to read every day anyways.”
Brooks had other examples, too, like parents sending in fast food for children’s lunches in violation of a rule because it’s the kid’s birthday.
“You know who else disagrees with rules? Aunt Becky,” Brooks said, referring to Loughlin’s famous role on “Full House.”
The principal had an answer for those who see a difference between the actions in the admissions scandal and the violations Brooks mentions. He pointed out that even smaller cases (like lying about your district so you can send your kids to a preferred school) can hurt other children.
“Let me tell you how many times I’ve wanted to put a medal on a parent’s neck at the science fair instead of on the child’s,” Brooks said. “Because that parent said, ‘I really think we should be able to help our child in academics, and so I did a lot on this science fair project. You know who else thought they should be able to help their children in academics? Aunt Becky.”
Brooks said he disagreed with anyone who would claim these aren’t the same kind of infractions:
“When you break rules and break policies in front of your children […] here’s what you’re saying to your child. ‘I know this is the rule, but it doesn’t apply to me.'”
Brooks told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he made the video because his experience has shown that “parents do what they think is best for kids because they love them and sometimes that involves breaking a rule or policy even though they shouldn’t.”
Since Brooks posted the video, it has been viewed approximately 9 million times, as the principal’s rant about rule-breaking hit a chord with many others.
In an interview with CNN, Brooks said that these parents misunderstand what’s best for their child.
“It’s not on the same scale in any way, shape, or form,” he said. “But it is telling our students that ‘there’s a rule there, and I don’t think that rule applies to me, so we’re not going to follow that rule.'”