The Rumor Weed


One of the best characteristics of Dalat is our community life.

An aspect of community living is that gossip and rumors can easily flourish. Dalat is no different than any other small community in that respect. However, rumors and gossip are destructive to not only individuals but to the school community as a whole. Our staff have committed to each other through a team covenant that we will not fertilize gossip or rumors and will not participate in the spreading of unsubstantiated information.

One of the best characteristics of Dalat is our community life.

In my 10 years at Dalat there have been some amazing rumors that we find hard to fathom why people would even believe in them. About six years ago a rumor traveled around Penang that Dalat was broke. The origin of this rumor was quickly realized when we saw that this rumor coincided with our first Annual Fund, which does not have anything to do with our fiscal health. Here are some current rumors that are floating around:

  • We are being forced to move – can’t stay at our current location
  • Families need to get on the wait list years in advance because Dalat is full
  • Students need perfect English or they cannot enroll
  • Students have to be a Christian to enroll at Dalat
  • Students need to attend Dalat in order to be considered for a North American university

I understand where the first rumor listed above comes from. Dalat has been looking around Penang for the last few years to see if there might be a piece of property that we could buy and own. This is not because we are being forced to move but just a prudent consideration as the land prices in Penang will not ever come down and are rising quickly. We love our current location and have it leased through 2016 with the option to lease many years into the future after that.

So, if you hear that we are moving or that we are broke please let that person know that it is just a rumor and give them the facts. I want to take a little bit of time to encourage our community not to enable gossiping and rumors. Here are some important steps that you can take to lessen the amount of rumors that are flying around the Dalat community.

Make the rumor stop with you:

If you decide that the rumor is hurtful in some way, make a stand. Decide that you don’t want to take part in spreading it. By not passing it on you will have possibly stopped it from spreading to hundreds of people.

Don’t be an audience:

When someone comes to you with a rumor, try in a gracious way not to be an audience.

Dalat knows that an important part of keeping rumors from being too destructive is good communication.

Respect others’ privacy:

If you don’t want other people talking about the personal things in your life, don’t do it to others?

Get the facts:

Most of the time, you should try to ignore gossip and rumors. But if you hear a rumor about something important, then take the time to get the facts. Once you have the facts you could be the one who helps dispel it.

Rumors often have a kernel of truth to them or are based on something that could possibly be true. Dalat knows that an important part of keeping rumors from being too destructive is good communication. We try hard to communicate in a way that rumors do not have a chance to get started. We want to take another step. If you here some gossip or a rumor about the school take time to find out if it is true.

I have asked Larry Chinn ( the Director of Development to be the “Rumor Stopper” for Dalat. Do not hesitate to email or call him about a rumor that you’ve heard and ask for the facts. He is committed to getting the right information to you.

Thank you for taking the time to make Dalat an even stronger community.

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Dalat Director

Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people to make a positive impact on their world, walk with integrity, and follow Christ. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Dalat Director since 2006.

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