Monday, September 2, 2013

talking about the elephant in the room

Do you know the story of the blind men and the elephant? If you want to get a quick refresher on it, this Wikipedia link is quite good. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant

You can follow the link and then return. I’ll wait for you. How this relates to the ‘elephant in the room’ will be revealed.

What elephant is in the room? The one each of us can see partially (like the blind men). The elephant in the room was raised during the recent parent meeting held at Franklin High School.

What do we know about the allegation? One can put together the timeline as follows:

  • Something occurred between a male teacher and a female student that was inappropriate
  • The incident seems to have occurred some time ago
  • Students were having a conversation about it via Twitter and texting
  • Someone reported the conversation to the School Dept
  • The School Dept immediately took action to suspend the teacher and report to DCF, and Franklin Police
  • The incident become news recently when someone tipped the news media to it, the news media contacted the School Dept, the released their first public announcement on Monday, Aug 26 so parents would be aware before school opened
  • High school teachers were aware the week before, other teachers found out on Monday
  • The DCF and School Dept investigations continue, apparently Franklin Police have no investigation underway (Fox News)
  • There is no estimate on how long the investigations will take to reach a conclusion


Maria Trozzi, the crisis counselor brought in by the School Dept, advised that parents have a conversation with their students about what is appropriate.

How do you start the conversation? 

There are plenty of examples all around us to draw from. Miley Cyrus’ performance at the recent VMA and broadcast via TV might be one to talk about. While much conversation has focused on Miley’s performance, what about Robin’s role?




Another and perhaps easier conversation would be with the recent Dunkin Donuts hot and spicy commercial.




  • If the two people in the car were co-workers, is the conversation appropriate?
  • Does appropriateness change if one were the manager of the other?
  • Does it change, if the two were friends and lovers?


Keep the conversations civil and anger free. Do not end up like one of the versions of the blind men and the elephant where they were fighting each other insistent that their version was true. None of us know what the true story is today. We need to be patient, let the investigation and legal due process run its course.