BARLOW PARK JOURNEY Elementary School principal Tanya Sanderfoot is now in her third year as an administrator. Previously, she taught for nine years in an elementary classroom for the Kimberly Area School District. 						  	   RCP file photo
BARLOW PARK JOURNEY Elementary School principal Tanya Sanderfoot is now in her third year as an administrator. Previously, she taught for nine years in an elementary classroom for the Kimberly Area School District. RCP file photo

     The only thing colder than the temperature two weeks ago were the hearts of some not-so-friendly Facebookers who showed no mercy in their sniping at an earnest, hard-working Ripon elementary principal.

     Cause of their rants was Barlow Park/Journey Elementary School (BPES) Principal Tanya Sanderfoot’s decision to send students outside for a brief fire drill on Jan. 29, when wind chills dipped to -25 degrees. The drill occurred right after students arrived at the school — teachers were told to keep them bundled up — and was done to fulfill a requirement for a monthly fire drill.

     The drill lasted two minutes, long enough for staff to proceed just out of the exit, take attendance and return to their classrooms.

     Sanderfoot later explained her decision to hold the drill, noting that she was making sure the school complied with state mandates but, being a relatively new principal, didn’t realize that a waiver exists for inclement weather. In a note to parents, she wrote that she wished she’d have canceled the drill adding: “I appreciate the feedback that I have received from parents sharing their concerns. I have learned from this experience.”

     Sanderfoot’s full response was thoughtful, thorough and forthright.

     But some raced to Facebook to verbally tar and feather the school’s administrator, with some calling her an “idiot,” “brainless,” “crackpot” and still another demanding her resignation. ...

                                   — Tim Lyke

     To read the entire editorial, including a more detailed description of Principal Sanderfoot’s concern for her school’s students, see the Feb. 14, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.