Former Montclair High School Guidance Counselor Encourages Seniors to Protest at Graduation


Barista Kids has been informed that former Montclair High School Director of Guidance Scott White has sent a private message to graduating MHS seniors on Facebook encouraging them to write — “I am not a number,” “a school is a community,” “teachers matter,” and “give teacher’s respect,”  — and tape the messages on their mortar boards after they are seated at graduation, which will take place on Monday, June 23. Below is a screenshot of the message allegedly sent by White and received by a senior:

scott white

We also found this tweet, which seems to corroborate the information we received:

This is not the first time that White has been vocal on his views of the Montclair School district, one he worked at for 22 years. White criticized the administration, his fellow co-workers, the Superintendent, and others  in several blog posts on a public blog back in October 2013 after he left the district for the position of Director of Guidance at Morristown High School. 

But to our knowledge, however, this appears to be the first time that he is enlisting students to spread his views.

Montclair High School senior parents, tell us what your feelings are regarding Mr. White’s message to your children and his suggestion of protesting at their graduation.


  1. I am not the parent of a senior, but I’d be pretty disturbed if my child got a social media message from a former guidance counselor doling out this kind of advice. Mr White has a new school full of students he can advise. Take care of your new kids, Mr. White, and leave ours alone. They’ll be just fine. MHS has a lot of problems, but you left. If the kids want to protest they will do it, but you shouldn’t be advising them anymore. You chose not to. So please get out of our business. Thanks.

  2. This is awful on a number of levels, but the bit that is the most despicable is the focus that Mr. White always draws to the teachers. In this post and others by him it is all about the teachers, not about the kids and young adults. That graduating seniors should use their moments of pride and accomplishment to support his NEA narrative is selfish and wrong headed. What’s next for him, setting up an inflatable rat outside the HS auditorium?

  3. I like the way he says, “put messages…that express YOUR ideals” and then goes on to tell them specifically what to say and think. And agree, it’s all about teachers and not about students.

  4. Speechless.

    The broader Montclair community should take comfort in knowing that the kids immediately understand that this type of behavior is wrong. I’m the parent of two MHS students, and they were absolutely floored by the lack of judgement and professionalism exhibited by this poster on their friends’ and acquaintances FB walls. Last night was the MHS Senior Prom — a beautiful, happy night when the vast majority of the soon-to-be-graduates were celebrating their years together before a new phase of life begins. And then this crazy-angry post pops up among the pictures of smiling young men in their tuxes and young women in their gowns. It was like a truly weird plot line of a movie. As a former Montclair Public Schools employee, Scott has a right to his personal point-of-view but to send unsolicited emails to former students encouraging a protest at their graduation ceremony is beyond the pale.

  5. Does this guy still work at Morristown High? I hope their Super gets word of this story and fires his ass.

    The odd thing here is that he’s writing to “All Seniors who read this,” but the story says it was PM’d to them. Regardless, it is inappropriate for a teacher to be “friends” with current students. THAT is how I would go after him. Also, was this PM’d or posted on a timeline? If posted, it does not specifically say, Montclair Seniors, just seniors, which would include his current school district.

    His right to blog is his, however, writing disparaging or private info about students may not be protected, but this doesn’t immediately cross that line.

    Which is why, if I were in charge, I’d use the appropriateness of social media contact with students approach to reprimand (and work hard to fire) him.

  6. He is certainly to his opinions, but as a guidance counselor he has no right to push the MCAS agenda on students. The level of animosity was already ridiculous, but this is just so inappropriate.

  7. How is this the MCAS agenda, exactly? I don’t think Scott White speaks for them, nor do I think they should be held responsible for his actions.

  8. fishoutofvodka,

    If MCAS is grassroots, then he speaks for MCAS. The MEA can’t have it both ways.

  9. I agree with fishoutofvodka. Scott White has been speaking out for a long time and has made it clear he speaks for himself. Using this as an opportunity to slam MCAS seems to be pretty hostile actually. Many people share the same views as MCAS. That doesn’t mean MCAS is responsible for all those people.

  10. Believe it or not (are you sitting down, Frank?) I agree with fish and nyc. Scott White speaks for himself. He was probably pushed out by Earle & Co. and now he’s apparently trying to get back at them. That’s how I read it anyway.

    If I were running the Morristown schools, I would issue him a warning and start building a case. A head guidance counselor is the last person who should be abusing his professional contacts with students.

  11. Regardless, can I ask why this is considered news? A former employee’s postings on someone FB page? Come on. If a protest happens, that’s news. If a bill passes the Senate and/or Assembly, that’s news. If a school board passes a resolution, that’s news. This? Meh.

  12. It does matter when someone in his position tells students “Show that you believe that the administration has reduced you to pawns in a grand experiment…”. He should choose a different line of work if he wants to get on a soapbox and preach politics. This is a school event focused on students, not a venue for his political beliefs. As far as MCAS goes, this is the same rhetoric they constantly hammer on, so whether they were directly involved or not, it is their agenda.

  13. And your agenda seems to be slamming MCAS. It seems there are certain new posters who take every opportunity to do so. MCAS is a group of parents who are entitled to express their dissatisfaction with the schools, just like anyone else is entitled to share their opinions. It seems you are giving an awful lot of power to MCAS if you are going to blame them for other people’s actions.

  14. Hostile towards MCAS?

    I have been working hard on my passive-aggessive skills and to clearly come off as hostile to MCAS shows a real lack of progress. Time to switch out my tutors.

    I think MCAS is responsible for a lot of unconstructive things (e.g. turning a marsupial to the Dark Side) and if checked, could and would undermine the demise of our children’s educational progress.

  15. Frank, maybe it’s time to close that bag of Funyons, shower up, and start your day.

    And speaking of hostility towards MCAS, the trolls over at Montclair Schools Watch are huffing and puffing about the Scott White-MCAS connection, and frothing about “depths that these guys are willing to stoop to”.

    The depths that -THEY’RE- willing to stoop to? R ya kidding? How about the depths that you’ve been plumbing lately, you Ed Norton wannabes?

    Like this level…

    … and digging a bit deeper, there was this desperate cry for attention, along with baseless accusations…

    … and let’s not forget their current rock bottom, which I’m sure they’ll surpass soon…

    You jokers make this too easy…

  16. education4all,

    The only difference between MSW & MCAS is a mirror.

    Enjoy your summer vacation.

  17. What a bunch of typical Montclair wimps; either learn to stand for something or you will fall for anything; you do not have to “do” what anybody “tells” you; read, study, have conversations about anything that has nothing to do with your parents (like you’ve been doing for years); you will not be the first students writing on mortar boards or walking out of class; the rest of you grow up and let your children do the same.

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