When it comes to fictional principals featured in movies and on television, with whom would you least like to work?
The folks on the list below aren’t all bad people, nor are they all bad at their jobs. They are simply school leaders who, for various reasons, would be completely awful as bosses or colleagues.
To get in on the debate, head over to the EdWorld Community and name the principal (one on our list, or another one of your choosing) whom you’d dread having in your school.
5. Edward Rooney from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Mr. Rooney (pictured above), principal of Lake Forrest High School, takes the bottom spot on the list not because he’s a poor school leader. Rooney’s single-minded determination to catch and punish a blatantly truant student does, however, lead to his complete absence from the school. An administrator probably needs to re-assess his priorities if spends all his time stalking troublemakers and fighting off attack dogs. Since punishment seems to have little effect on Ferris, Mr. Rooney might also try putting his efforts into engaging, rather than chasing, this challenging student.
4. Gerald Strickland from Back to the Future
Principal of Hill Valley High School, Mr. Strickland is, for all intents and purposes, a stellar administrator. He takes discipline and student motivation seriously. He has no tolerance for bullies and is always around campus. The fact that he’s always around may be to his detriment, however. He’s been in charge for over three decades, with no end in sight. Even the best leaders’ voices get tuned out after a while. How many times can a faculty member stomach Mr. Strickland’s speech about “slackers” before seeking a transfer?
3. Seymour Skinner from “The Simpsons”
When it comes to people who are not up to the job of school administrator, Principal Skinner immediately comes to mind. Perpetually desperate to increase funding for Springfield Elementary School, Skinner goes out of his way to impress his boss, Superintendant Chalmers. Those efforts are often for naught, as Skinner almost always fails to meet expectations. His ineffectiveness is readily apparent in the school’s poor student achievement and disengaged teachers.
2. Albus Dumbledore of the Harry Potter film series
To be clear, the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is a hero. He’s also a benevolent leader who always has the best interest of his students and faculty in mind. With that said, put yourself in the role of one of Hogwarts’ lesser-known faculty members, perhaps one who is not privy to Dumbledore’s secret plans to thwart the villain Voldemort. You might view Dumbledore as an aloof leader whose attention is not on the school’s goings-on until that school is reduced to rubble (due, in part, to his own actions).
1. Claude Rolle from The Substitute
When a principal engages in wanton destruction of school property, drug trafficking and the murder of faculty members, it’s easy to declare him “Worst Fictional Principal.” Rolle, Principal of Columbus High School, orchestrated a drug-trafficking syndicate, using the busing system to move product and enlisting one of his school’s gangs to act as muscle and distribution. When a faculty member found the courage to stand up to Rolle, the teacher was summarily executed. Whether or not Tom Berenger showed up to serve his brand of hyper-violent justice, nobody wants to work for a guy who’d kill you for putting in a few extra hours.
Do you agree with this ranking? Be sure to cast your vote on the EdWorld Community for worst-ever fictional principal!