Friday, October 21, 2016

Good for John Nagl

In this job, I'm not supposed to take sides. I'm supposed to play it down the middle.

Of course, if you asked Democratic and Republican leaders here in the county, they would tell you I fail miserable at that task most days. They are convinced - as are many readers - that I'm in the tank for the opposition. Just this week in Sound Off the newspaper was excoriated for being "in the pocket" of the GOP. That might come as news to Andy Reilly and Mike Puppio.

But I can admit that there are some times when I do feel a rooting interest in the stories that wind up splashed all over the front pages of the newspaper, as well as finding a permanent home online at DelcoTimes.com.

I'm not an iceberg. I feel for the people involved in these stories. And yes, sometimes I feel bad about what happened to them. I sometimes refer to it as the 'wince factor.' I guess that's as opposed to our newest Philly sports foible. That would be the Wentz Factor.

The 'wince factor' is my reaction when a story first crosses my radar. Sometimes I question the actions. Sometimes I question the facts. And sometimes I just feel bad for the people involved.

That brings me to John Nagl. He was the headmaster of the prestigious Haverford School on the Main Line.

Nagl found himself in the pages of the newspaper, as well as popping up on all the local TV news shows. Let's just say it was not in the best of circumstances. No, this was not a profile on the tremendous things that are done at the private school.

This was a story about a most private incident involving Nagl and his son.

As police laid out the story, Nagl found some pot in his son's backpack and decided to discipline him by taking away his cell phone. The next day Nagl apparently caught his son using the cell phone and a tussle ensued. The son called 911. Nagl was eventually charged with a misdemeanor count of simple assault.

That' how Nagl made the paper. He was placed on leave by the school.

I'm a man. And a father. I am lucky in that my two kids never gave me much in the way of worries, certainly not the hell I routinely put my parents through.

To put in plainly, I felt bad for Nagl.

That's why I was glad to hear the news yesterday that the Delaware County District Attorney's Office is dropping the charges against Nagl.

You can read all the details here.

I hope he gets his job back.

My feelings are not unanimous. Several readers complained that Nagl was getting a break because of his status. I don't see it.

Go ahead. Tell me I'm biased. Again.

I think Nagl had a very private moment that exploded into something very public.

I hope now that everyone can put this behind.

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