Yesterday, we received a string of comments within about a 20 minute period. The individual who made the comments is a critic of our site. We initially vehemently disagreed with most of what we read. One of the major issues we had with the comments was that they were written from the perspective of different individuals (including as a student), but we could show that they were from just one individual. While we still disagree with much of what was written, the comments caused us to reflect on our Mission Statement and ask ourselves whether all of our recent posts have achieved or furthered our purpose.

Our conclusion was that they have not.

First, we would like to publish the comments that we received here:

  • It’s very interesting to see that you hide behind this childish website and ironically complain about adult bullying yet everyone individual you attack and complain about puts themselves out there on a daily basis to actually do their job. In the time that you take to create, manage, giggle about, and gossip on this website, it would be nice to see what you could actually do to make a real difference in the work place. For a group of adults who claim to have problems with how you are treated in your job or how children are abused you seem to be quite good at doing the exact same thing with your sad attempts at reviving Gossip Girl through your anonymous website. If you actually had the gumption to stand up for these causes or believed in them strongly enough you wouldn’t need to hide your identities online. You obviously still work in the school and it’s quite sad to see that you spend your time this way.

  • ASK has taught me that there are a lot of people out there that should not be in the position to shape the educational, personal, and moral future of young students – those people being the individuals that run this website. Your horribly rude and childish comments are shameful and are no better than anyone you complain about. The children in the school that you work at would be suspended or expelled for creating this type of site to complain and gossip about other students, yet here you are, doing the same and setting an example for them to follow. If you actually cared about the students, other teachers, or making the school better, you wouldn’t award the meanest or rudest comments, you wouldn’t gossip about individuals, and you certainly wouldn’t hide behind your ridiculous little burn book of a website.

  • The Pink Panther may have stumbled along in getting to the point and finding the evidence necessary to prove his case, but at least he eventually got there, and in an entertaining way nonetheless. This website is getting a little pathetic and your call for information only serves to highlight your own lacking detective skills. I say detective skills because your posts are obviously written by an overgrown child pretending to play detective at work. You are no Edward Snowden, you are no Pink Panther. You need to either move on or get over it.

  • Hi, I’m a student now and I don’t know if it’s okay to post on here but I just wanted to say that I’m seriously confused. If I posted something like what I’ve seen on here I’d be in so much trouble, but you’re making mean comments about people and the way they look and eat and act. How is that okay? This is really really mean and I like Mr. Murphy, even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t say this stuff about him online. If our parents and all of the students start to see this type of stuff how can you say that students can’t do the same to other students? Don’t you feel bad? I’ve been cyber bullied and I think this whole website is just a place to be mean to people. It really hurts and you shouldn’t encourage it.

  • I wonder which type of bully you resemble – the type that hides behind their computer, the type that picks on other people’s looks because they themselves are insecure, or the type that influences the way kids think and act everyday yet are actually horrible people instead. Some may argue you resemble all of them.

  • Please don’t delete this again because it’s a comment bashing you rather than everyone else you use your website to attack. It’s getting a little silly, don’t you think? ASK has taught me that there are a lot of people out there that should not be in the position to shape the educational, personal, and moral future of young students – those people being the individuals that run this website. Your horribly rude and childish comments are shameful and are no better than anyone you complain about. The children in the school that you work at would be suspended or expelled for creating this type of site to complain and gossip about other students, yet here you are, doing the same and setting an example for them to follow. If you actually cared about the students, other teachers, or making the school better, you wouldn’t award the meanest or rudest comments, you wouldn’t gossip about individuals, and you certainly wouldn’t hide behind your ridiculous little burn book of a website.

  • That’s funny, because you seem to be deleting the comments that don’t agree with you or that defend the people you attack. I’ve taken screenshots of these comments awaiting moderation, including the one that was accidentally accepted and immediately deleted right after. Insightful, indeed.

  • It’s a little childish you keep deleting comments you don’t agree with. So, can we stop now? Here’s a second shot at posting a comment – It lost a little of its pizzazz this time. I wonder which type of bully you resemble – the type that hides behind their computer, the type that picks on other people’s looks because they themselves are insecure, or the type that influences the way kids think and act everyday yet are actually horrible people instead. Some may argue you resemble all of them.

  • Here’s a second shot at posting a comment that was previously deleted – It lost a little of its pizzazz this time. I wonder which type of bully you resemble – the type that hides behind their computer, the type that picks on other people’s looks because they themselves are insecure, or the type that influences the way kids think and act everyday yet are actually horrible people instead. Some may argue you resemble all of them.

We’re going to start with an apology to Michael Murphy. We will begin reviewing our past posts which referred to Mr. Murphy as an “Idaho Potato” and either remove the references or remove the posts in their entirety. The first post that will be removed is the post with recent comments that included a category for meanest comment. We will try to revive a kinder version of this post in the near future.

Our intention at American School of Kuwait Reviews is to provide an honest criticism of the American School of Kuwait – particularly its administrators, governance, and their decisions. Personal attacks and sarcasm do not help us achieve this goal. Again, we want to apologize to Mr. Murphy and we want to thank the commentator for holding us accountable for our poor behavior. Our comments were indeed rude and childish, and we agree with the statement, “…are no better than anyone you complain about.” We will try to hold ourselves to a higher bar in the future. In addition, we hope that our attempts to do so will serve as a model for the type of behavior we hope to see from ASK’s administrators.

The first comment ended with:

For a group of adults who claim to have problems with how you are treated in your job or how children are abused you seem to be quite good at doing the exact same thing with your sad attempts at reviving Gossip Girl through your anonymous website. If you actually had the gumption to stand up for these causes or believed in them strongly enough you wouldn’t need to hide your identities online. You obviously still work in the school and it’s quite sad to see that you spend your time this way.

We would like to address this in more detail:

The intention of ASKR is to not be a gossip site, but to be a critique. The purpose is to seek the improvement of ASK. In that regard, we will strive for excellence. However, we strongly believe that our anonymity is of utmost importance. The commentators guess that some of our contributors still work at the school is an accurate one. In addition, the school has been known to attempt to “blacklist” teachers with other schools and recruiting agencies. The school has done this with substantial success in the past, and while the school has been right to do so on some occasions, they have been wrong on others. In some cases, they have fabricated information in order to blacklist former teachers. For these reasons and others, we choose to stay anonymous. It is also the reason that we choose not to name employees other than those in the administration and ownership group.

Conclusion

The changes to the website will not be immediate. Some changes will take place in the next few hours, but others may take some days. We are going to be reviewing each article individually and asking ourselves, “How does this fit our mission?” Articles will be updated or deleted as we see fit. We will also try to update links and the index page as we go, but there may be times when links on the site are broken. We hope to model the type of behavior we would expect – both from our students, coworkers, and administrators.

Thank you for reading.

4 thoughts on “An Apology Is Due

  1. Although some parts of this site have come across as cynical, it does help highlight some of the changes that need to be addressed at ASK. Many who have worked here—admin and teachers—have wanted to see change. Yet there is nothing that pushes governance to do anything…except the ASK reputation. That, and the shiny new school at the 30 and 6th ring (…a better choice?). Reaccreditation might prompt something. Ultimately though it will be school culture, and that starts with leadership. Will Mike Murphy bring this leadership, or will he continue to follow Becky’s playbook? As these comments imply support for Murphy and ASK, I would challenge him to make a legit effort to do something different. Take a risk. Tell students no. Tell Wael no. Support more teacher initiatives. Lead by example.

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  2. Agreed.
    There were some rude and childish comments and they were uncalled for. However, that said, these comments and feeling of incompetency and lack of administrative support associated with Mike didn’t just come out of thin air. Just like everyone who participated in the childish gossip, myself included, should reflect upon the comedical route taken. Let’s however not forget the bigger picture in which this is still a two way street. Mike is not free of error and while he was victimized here, he unfortunately has also contributed to the victimization others. I hope this experience and our acknowledgment of being rude and childish will also allow Mike Murphy to take some time to reflect upon himself, his decisions and his own actions so hopefully he can come to terms with his role in these feelings of disappointment towards him and acknowledge his shortcomings.
    Best of luck to all the remainder of the year!

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