Leesville Road High School’s new principal, Shejuanna Jacobs, held “Principal Chats” in the with the Leesville student body. Students went to the auditorium in 6 groups based on their second period to meet with Jacobs and discuss changes and events happening in the upcoming school year.
Jacobs went over the dress code, fights at Leesville, and students sending provocative images.
Jacob’s goal with these chats was to get in front of the student body. “I’m not sure how much interactions students usually get with the principal, but I thought it was always important to know that not only are your teachers here to support you, but we’re here to support you,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs also wanted to make expectation abundantly clear to students, especially as things are changing. “I think it’s important to know what student’s expectations are… I’ve always thought it was unfair to hand out consequences without saying ‘this is what we are wanting’,” said Jacobs.
Having these chats in small groups allowed for students to really hear what Jacobs had to say. The chats lasted about 45 minutes, and students were expected to not be on their phones or talking.
Students feeling towards the meetings varied. “I was kind of just there… I mean it was an excuse to get out of second,” said Aiden Quinn, junior.
Other students weren’t too fond of the chats due to the mesenging, “If it goes the same as this one I wouldn’t [want other meetings this year],” said Skylar Bakowski, senior.
The Big Issues
The biggest controversy surrounding the Principal Chats is the dress code.
Jacobs stressed that the dress code isn’t new, as it has been the WCPSS dress code for the past 10 years — her goal is to enforce it.
“I hear the concerns, and I get it. It’s one of those things where it feels like I’m taking your individuality… and that’s not what I’m trying to do at all, but I don’t think it’s too early to teach young people, right now, that certain dress aligns with certain settings,” said Jacobs.
Some students don’t see the change as a big deal. “I mean it doesn’t really effect me… I just wear my t-shirts and shorts, so I doesn’t effect me as much as other students,” said Quinn.
Other students find the dress code to be unfair or too much, feeling it is targeted towards girls or it not changing much for students education. Bakwoski said, “Since I’ve been here it’s been the same and there hasn’t been that many issues, so it kinda unfair.”
Another big topic was students sending nude images. “What I was trying to explain to students is: when you do that, the minute it sends you have no control over where that image is going, and rarely does that picture ever stay private… and then what happens is parents and students come to the school ‘Ms. Jacobs make it stop,’ I can’t make it stop– you hit send,” said Jacobs.
Some students felt the messaging was targeted. “She made it sound like it was majority girls, and it was the girls fault for sending them and not the guy fault for spreading it,” said Bakowski.
Overall Jacobs and students are looking forward to this upcoming school year. “I’m excited for all of the fall and senior activities coming up,” said Bakowski.
“A lot of the traditional things that this school has been know for or had done in the past, pre-covid, hadn’t really opened up, and I’m willing to do it… I’m excited for that,” said Jacobs.