The Lansing superintendent of schools wants people to criticize him.

The Lansing superintendent of schools wants people to criticize him.

Superintendent Darrel Stufflebeam said he has been trying to lead by example as he encourages people to talk to each other when they have concerns.

“I thought it needs to start with me,” he said.

Stufflebeam said he gave a presentation Monday to members of the Lansing Board of Education about what he calls courageous communication.

“It's about direct communication,” Stufflebeam said.

He said the popularity of social media may have dulled people's skills when it comes to communicating with each other.

Stufflebeam said people often are talking about someone rather than speaking to him or her.

“That is not an effective way to communicate,” he said.

The superintendent said he does not want people in the school district to be afraid to speak directly to someone.

Stufflebeam acknowledged that it is not easy to accept criticism. He also said it can be scary to criticize someone to his or her face.

During the past school year, Stufflebeam asked principals in the district to provide criticisms of their superintendent. He also asked representatives of the teachers union in Lansing to offer criticism of him.

Stufflebeam said he plans to discuss the courageous communication initiative with teachers in August as they prepare for the new school year.

Stufflebeam said he will ask principals to invite criticism from teachers.

Stufflebeam also wants parents to feel comfortable about speaking with their children’s teachers with concerns. In most cases, district policy calls for people to speak directly with teachers when they have concerns.

The superintendent plans to share more information about the initiative with parents.

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