May 18, 2006

The end of a very interesting experiment

This post was last updated on May 22nd, 2006 at 10:12 pm

I’ve followed with interest the blog of Clayton Wilcox, Superintendent of Pinellas County Schools in Tampa, Fl. I admired his willingess to become a transparent leader and invite conversations from a wide audience. But today he writes,

I will just say this … the lies, distortions and mean spiritedness of some – was not worth my time or worthy of this district … good night and good luck.

So what’s the lesson here? You can read some of the comments and see what many others think but I worry that this is the exact reason many in leadership positions avoid blogging. They fear this type of response. I wonder that if a survey was done with all who read his blog, not necessarily those who comment would reveal that those who displayed mean spiritedness were not only the minority but were identified by most as extremeist and not making meaningful contributions to the conversation.

Is this the same reaction we have when students experience harrassment online? Pull the plug. I’m not judging this particular decision since I probably don’t have all the facts but I am concerned that we deal with bullies and loud mouths but shutting down.

I’m not aware of any other superintedent blogger. I’m hoping to help our superintendents to become involved in these types of experiences and conversations. I just hope this type of result doesn’t discourages them.

Update: Just finished a great conversation with Rob and Rick and will post our thoughts on the subject.