I am a senior writing this message anonymously to inform the public of how the Sunland Baptist Academy’s Class of 2022 has been treated.
To begin, the class has been hosting fundraisers since our junior year and we continued into our senior year. From this money we have received from the fundraisers, the school has still taken a percentage out of it and we are now being told that we are unable to have an event by ourselves with the money (1500+). We are being told that we must use the money to purchase gifts for our parents or have a school based event. Keep in mind, that we are limited to having events with the school due to our principal having so many restrictions on what we can actually do. Also, our principal doesn’t support any of our fundraisers but is here to dictate what we can and cannot do with the money.
Additionally, to our knowledge, senior week is for the seniors of a particular school where they are allowed to put together fun activities in which they would enjoy. Our principal has informed us that senior week is not just about us but it’s also about the school. We were informed that we were to plan a senior week with proper proposals and give it in to either the principal or our homeroom teachers. Two weeks later, a student received an email with a senior week already planned out and only ONE event was suggested by the class.
After we received this email, the class came together to try and make suggestions as to what we could replace on the list that was already prepared. After the suggestions from the class were noted by the class board, they decided to have a meeting. In this meeting, there was the Class President, Vice president, Treasurer, Public Relations officer and assistant, Secretary and assistant, Chaplain, Sergeant at arms, Principal and a Grade 12 homeroom teacher (who was supposed to be there for “moral support”). The meeting was planned to discuss the suggestions for the senior week, what we would like to do with the money and a few graduation protocols we wanted to change. The board expressed that the meeting went horrible and remarks made by the Principal made them uncomfortable. When it came to the money, the board suggested that they would use half for the parents gifts (although the class genuinely didn’t want to) and the other half could be used to have a class dinner privately. They said that when the principal disagreed, they expressed to her that the class genuinely didn’t want to buy their parents a gift in which every student will have.
The board said that a student in the meeting said that she repays her parents back every day and the principal responded to the comment by saying “ you could never repay your parents back, you should be grateful that your parents didn’t decide to ABORT you”. The board said that comment made everyone in the room feel uncomfortable, and when they had told the class about the comment, it made them feel the same way. The principal proceeded to label the senior class as selfish and negative. The principal also told the board that if they were to keep this selfish attitude throughout their lives, that when they get married they would be labeled as bridezillas. This comment also made the board feel uncomfortable. The board said that they had proposed a water activity, and before they were even allowed to completely present the proposal, the idea was shut down by the principal. Before the meeting with the entire board, the President said that she was called to the office to meet with the principal. The President stated that before she was able to talk about how the class wanted to do a water activity, the principal began telling her a story of how an old friend of the theirs died diving. The class felt as if the story was very irrelevant to them wanting to go to the beach.
Also, during the meeting, the board said that a student presented some suggestions of parents gifts and while they were trying to explain what they had written down the principal and homeroom teacher proceeded to laugh. This made student upset and she left the room, said the board.
After this meeting, the class was already disappointed and upset, and then more bad news came. Our mock exams that were scheduled for April 1st-April 7th, had been pushed up to a week earlier. The principal did not send an official letter until March 22nd, giving us less time to review and the teachers less time to finish teaching topics. The class felt as if the decision was inconsiderate and unfair. We tried to express how we felt to the principal but of course she never hears the students out. Here we are, poor senior week, exams moved up, could the situation get any worse ?
Indeed it did, days later, after our school had won the Basketball tournament, the principal called a senior class meeting. During this meeting we were given a choice to take our exams that were scheduled for April 8th on April 25th (when we return after Easter break) to participate in the motorcade they had scheduled for that day, or take the exams on the day that they were (April 8th) and miss the motorcade. The class was confused. We expressed that the choices were both unfair to us and we asked if they could find a suitable date where as we could take the exams on its scheduled date, and participate in the motorcade. Our principal expressed to us that life isn’t fair. Our principal lives by the motto that life isn’t fair, so she ensures that she makes choices that are completely unfair.
After the class meeting, we voted and majority of the class chose to take the exams after Easter break. After pushing exams up, creating a poor senior week for the senior class and giving us two unfair choices, the class had it up to there. A letter was written and was addressed to one of the leaders of the school concerning the unfairness of the class. A student delivered the letter directly to whom it was addressed to. Days later, the leader had insisted on meeting with two students. The students said that they did not want to meet with anyone, but were continuously asked. On the day of this proposed meeting, the students who were asked to meet said that expressed that they were going to be uncomfortable in the meeting, but they were still called into the meeting. The students said that one of the teachers who was going to be present in the meeting said that she would stand with them. Did she really stand with them ?
In the meeting, there was the president, treasurer, leader whom the letter was addressed to, principal and homeroom teacher. As you can tell the student to administration was off and that is why the students said that they would be uncomfortable and they also expressed that it would be their words against the administrators. The students said that they had asked for the same amount of students that were in the previous meeting to come back into the office, but this request was denied. The students said that they expressed what had happened in the meeting that Friday (mentioned above) and the principal and home room teacher denied everything besides the abortion comment said the students. Although the principal didn’t deny the comment, the students said that she gave an extremely backhanded apology in which they did not accept. The students said that the apology went “I apologize for making the abortion comment because it obviously made you all uncomfortable”. Although there was an “apology ”, the students said that the principal told them to pass the “apology” down to the other board members that were in the previous meeting when the comment was made. Not only did she deny some comments, the students said that the principal said that in the previous meeting, the students came and attacked her and they also came with an agenda. The students said she never mentioned that until the meeting with the leader of the school. The students said that the principal and homeroom teacher made them feel as if they were incompetent and they lack understanding. The students said that they made the class look extremely selfish. In the meeting, the students said that they expressed that they felt like they barely had any input into anything. The principal proceeded to compare the class being able to design their senior shirts to us not being able to plan our own senior week. What kind of comparison is that…? They said that the principal expressed that we believe that we are going to get everything we want, which was not the point at all. After the meeting, the students that were in there said that they felt attacked and were made to look like liars.
Besides the fact that we aren’t able to have an enjoyable senior week. We are unable to receive proper recognition at graduation. Graduation protocols were changed. We are now walking in alphabetical order, and there are no stoles to differentiate the various honor groups. Instead, there are cords as skinny as spaghetti and one sash in which every student wears. We, the Class of 2022 feel as if we worked hard and we should be recognized. The reasoning behind the change of graduation protocols is of course, based on our principals past. Our principal was not the brightest student in high school, and may have not been recognized and is now projecting that horrible life experience on the rest of us.
I am writing this today, to inform the public of all the issues and challenges that the seniors of Sunland Baptist Academy are facing. Keep in mind, that this is the same principal in which the Class of 2021 from SBA spoke about via social media, and the Kingsway incident some years back also. Our principal projects their life issues (friend dying while diving & poor student in school) on each graduating class (the previous one also). The principal says that we get upset when things don’t go our way, but that is absolutely not the point. The principal’s reasoning and her inappropriate responses to our plans and suggestions is what enrages us all. Many students in the Class of 2022 have been at Sunland for many years, and they say that this is the worst year of their lives. It is extremely sad to see how terrible our senior year has been. We wish for a better senior experience, but it’s too late now. All the best to the upcoming seniors of Sunland Baptist Academy, God bless you all and be extremely strong.