Why be Popular?

So far as I can tell, Popular means broadly liked. Be nice, be visible, be funny, be sociable. I cannot argue with any of those qualities. Yet as a high school principal in a rural community, I ask myself these questions--

Can we do what is right if we know it will be unpopular?
How much opposition to the right act can we weather?
How much opposition to the right act can the people whose support we need weather? Less?
How long must we sustain the right act before it becomes accepted and therefore less of a challenge?
Who will stand with us through the hardest periods? Who will not?
How will our determined right act and the upheaval it creates unintentionally impact other right things?

I asked these questions when cracking down on a system that surrendered the senior year to part-time students and decimated advanced classes. I asked these questions when forcing equal treatment on a student (and parent) body that favored some kinds of students and families over others. I asked these questions when converting from a semester scheduling system to a trimester scheduling system. I ask these questions every time the status quo appears to be an obstacle to student success.

Education is not for sissies.