Don Shomette

People are the Prize

The Choice Suddenly Becomes Easier

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trustThere are two different degrees of trust – loyalty and allegiance.

Loyalty is a lesser form and implies faithfulness, respect, and dependability. Loyalties can change because loyalty is typically expected to be reciprocal – I’m loyal to you so you be loyal to me.

Allegiance is a higher form of trust and implies a greater sense of obligation, duty, and a finality.  Once given, your allegiance typically remains forever – for good or bad – and can be one sided.  My country right or wrong.

Loyalty is a great good.
Allegiance is a supreme good.

Because both are intrinsically good, one cannot give their loyalty or allegiance to something bad.  Strictly speaking, loyalty and allegiance stops being loyalty and allegiance if not used towards a worthy cause.  Gang members can never really be loyal to each other and terrorists can never really give their allegiance.  Their loyalty is really stubbornness to do evil and their allegiance is a selfish effort for personal preservation.  They don’t really choose to be loyal or to give their allegiance—they must give it or personally suffer.

Okay, so having said that let’s move on.

Loyalty and allegiance are not in competition with each other.  They simply denote the level of personal commitment on your part to another person or an organization.

Some examples:

Your loyalty may be to your friends, but your allegiance is to your spouse.
Your loyalty may be to a political party, but your allegiance is to all people.
Your loyalty may be to the military, but your allegiance is to your country.

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Your loyalty may be to your school district, but…your allegiance is to the students and their parents.

The other principals, teachers, and staff members are your co-workers and therefore they deserve your respect, faithfulness, and loyalty.  They’ve earned it, give it to them.

Because school personnel are standing in place of the parents, the students are therefore by default standing in place as your children and your children deserve your allegiance – a higher degree of trust, duty, and obligation.  That means we have an obligation to our children to provide them with a solid education, a loving atmosphere, and a safe environment.

If at any time you must choose between the good of the student or the ease of going with the flow and not ruffling feathers or raising standards or adding extra but necessary requirements to your staff that you know would benefit your students, just remember…

your loyalty is to your school district but your allegiance is to the students—your children.

The choice suddenly becomes easier.

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Author: Don Shomette

Don Shomette is a trainer, speaker, consultant, and owner of People are the Prize, a violence prevention company that helps people to prevent and survive a school attack. He has spent a lifetime working with police officers and principals and is consistently evaluated by those who attend his trainings as one of the best instructors ever. Don challenges, entertains, and helps school personnel to think of preventing violence in a new and positive way.

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