The Japanese apparently say “the stake that sticks up gets hammered down.” The connotations of that stake towering over the rest, or one that has inched its way out are a little more pleasant than the similar idiom used in the western world.
Over here in the Americas, you’ll hear “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” a lot more often. Same principle.
The roof problems with Elwood High School made working, teaching and studying unbearable for those in the school. It escalated to the point that students didn’t want to go and parents had concerns for their children’s health. Any word of a fix to the problems seemed non-existent. Many parents say they first heard of issues when it hit local media.
The problems would have likely been fixed regardless. Issues were apparently addressed internally and the school district was aware of the problem.
“If we have to, we can make special budgetary items to help cover the cost of the repairs,” said a district spokesperson when first contacted about the rampant leakage. “We are aware of the situation and it will be remedied.”
Over the course of a week, temporary fixes were being put in place and the school decided to counter plans of a student walkout by issuing a memo to all parents.
And by the time MHA Dwight Ball opened his office for a meeting with parents, a fix was in sight. No parents even felt they needed to show up.
When a problem sees a prompt fix, everyone gains. It’s a perfect-world scenario we don't see often enough.
The reason the fix occurred at this stage, however, may be a little more suspect. Was it accelerated because of the attention? If so, then there's something wrong with the system.
Parents won't necessarily know of issues because their kids are students in the school. Sure, they can become more involved through a school council, but we can’t assume teens talk about this stuff around the supper table.
Communication can be improved on that end, but it’s difficult.
Staff and administration follow the protocol of detailing the problems to the district level. We assume that happened and that it was exasperated to the degree necessary.
The district said it knew of the problems at Elwood — which is encouraging — and they were planning to fix them. Let’s hope they were planning a prompt solution and not because a stake needed to be hammered down.