News from AMS
November 16, 2022
A Cautionary Tale from the Boston Bruins
I don't know about you, but I'm glad our lives were not determined based on judgments made about us when we were teenagers. For the most part, we messed up, learned from it and were forgiven. Sometimes, though, especially in recent years, the things kids do and say can stick with them long after they have grown up.
Recently, the guidance staff, Mr. Carlson and I spoke to the students about how important it is to treat one others well. We talk about this constantly at AMS, but every so often, a situation comes along that illustrates the point better than any speech or presentation. The story of Boston Bruins signee Mitchell Miller was one such story.
Most grown-ups know by now that the Bruins signed Miller to a contract recently, but soon after had to cancel it. As the story goes, the uber-talented defenseman had mercilessly harassed and bullied a classmate with special needs from grades 2-8. This was no one time mistake. According to the police report, it was an ongoing and particularly cruel pattern of behavior. We shared with the students that Miller (and occasionally his friends) physically assaulted the boy, insulted him for his special needs and used racial slurs toward him.
Despite his transcendent talent on the ice, this past behavior was enough for Miller to be dropped by his college team and now two professional teams. His opportunity to fulfill his dream of playing in the NHL appears to be over.
Our students are always polite and respectful when we speak to them, but we never REALLY know if they are hearing us. I believe they heard this. It felt like most of our students could feel what it might be like to be on either side of the situation. They seemed amazed that a young man with so much talent would be turned away because of behaviors from his elementary and middle school years. I think in that moment, they understood that the way we treat one another really matters; that our words and actions toward peers are very impactful, and that the things we do as kids, when they are particularly hurtful, never fully go away.
Middle school students sometimes have a difficult time retaining information, so I’m not sure that the lessons of this story will stick with them. I will remind them often, and I know that most of you will, too. But they will forget at some point, and in impulsive moments, they will slip up. We weren’t perfect, and we don’t expect them to be either. Middle school is all about learning from mistakes.
But they have to keep their mistakes relatively small. It is very important our kids know that in today's social climate, their reputation may not survive mistakes that include significant bullying and harassment.
With that in mind, I can't urge you strongly enough to emphasize the "person" part of who your child is even more than the student, the athlete, the artist, the performer, etc. I encourage you to take frequent opportunities to emphasize civility, respect and empathy and to be aware of your child's behavior not just in person, but also on social media. In 29 years, I have not seen a bullying situation quite as bad as the Mitchell Miller story. But I've seen some bad ones, and saying "I was just kidding" or "that's just kids being kids" doesn't cut it like it did in the 1980's.
I truly want all our students to walk out of AMS with their heads held high and a good reputation. I want them to have all the opportunities in the world still open to them. I want them to be able to earn the life they want and not to have to settle for less because of something they did when they were 12-14 years old. Let's stick together on this one. If you are concerned about your child being on either side of this, give us a call or send us an email (contact information below). We can work together to help get him/her on the right track.
Thank you so much for all your support.
We have to keep trying. Keep planting seeds!
Upcoming Presentations on Bullying and Substance Use/Abuse
We have been fortunate to schedule two important presentations for our students in the coming weeks and months. Each presentation is led by professionals in the field who deal with these issues on a daily basis; people who have seen the best and pretty close to the worst of what human behavior has to offer. We are excited for them to share their insights on these important topics with our students in ways that are well-practiced and age appropriate.
District Attorney Early's Office Cyber Safety / Bullying Presentations
Tuesday 11/22 - Grades 6 and 7
Wednesday 11/23 - Grade 8
Sheriff Evangelidis's Office "Face 2 Face" Substance Use/Abuse Presentations
Tuesday 1/10 - Grade 7
Thursday 1/12 - Grade 8
Upcoming AMS Concerts
The Fine Arts Department will present the AMS/AHS Trimester One Concerts and Art Show on Tuesday Nov 29 (Chorus) and Thursday Dec 1 (Band) at 7pm. All seating is reserved. The concerts will also be recorded and shared on the AHS Bands Facebook site for audience members who are not comfortable attending an in-person event.
Please note: our student performers will be sitting in the balcony so that section is reserved. A yellow seat indicates an ADA seat with wheelchair access.
Nov. 29th Chorus Concert: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/69134
Dec 1st Band Concert: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/69258
We look forward to sharing our performance with you!
Winter Sports at AMS
Basketball and Cheerleading will begin shortly after Thanksgiving.
Ice hockey will not begin until later in December.
Playing a competitive sport at AMS requires completion of what used to be called the "blue card" process, which is now fully online. Please check out the links below to ensure your child is able to tryout when the time comes.
If you are interested, please email email@example.com to let her know. Please indicate your child's name and grade. If we have more people interested than we can take, we will err on the side of selecting a council that is as representative of our entire student body, from grade 6-8, as possible.
End of Trimester 1
Trimester 1 grades will be finalized and viewable in Power School on Friday December 9.
I know times are stressful...this video helps remind me to keep stress in check!
Cell Phones in School
Cell Phone Policy Reminder
Cell phones are expected to be turned off and kept inside students' backpacks during the school day. Overall, I am very proud of how well our students have done with this. They really have done a great job. However, as the year goes on and comfort sets in, we have begun to see a few more phones than we'd like during the day. Please discourage your child from texting and/or calling you during the day. If you need to be in touch with your child about something important, please call the office, and we will have you in touch with him/her very quickly. Thank you for your help.
Messages from the School Community...
2. Auburn Friends of Music Education (FAME) Fundraiser - The Friends of Auburn Music Education (FAME) is hosting a fundraiser to support all music and theater education in the Auburn Public Schools. Please consider purchasing a Porch Pot Kit. These porch pots make beautiful decorations for your porch or front steps. Porch pots are provided by Bemis Farms.
You are purchasing a kit that will require assembly but easy instructions will be provided. Please see flyer below and place your order here . The Music and Theater Students appreciate your support!