Students at a Northern California middle school are looking at double the trouble if they misbehave.
Two 36-year-old educators who are identical twins are sharing the job of principal at Oakland's Claremont Middle School this year. And parents and staff say the novel arrangement involving Ronald and Reginald Richardson has been good for the public school and its 410 students, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
"There's a huge difference in the school culture," said Paul Kagiwada, father of a seventh-grader at Claremont. "It's cleaner, nicer, quieter. There's an expectation of respect at all levels."
The Richardson brothers have followed the same academic and career paths all their lives. They were principals at neighboring elementary schools in Richmond, Calif., before they were hired to work in Oakland last summer.
Before that, they both attended San Francisco State University on track and field scholarships. They earned teaching credentials and then master's degrees in education from the University of California at Berkeley. Their grandmother also was a principal in Oakland, and their mother taught school in the city.
The district hired them as co-principals and eliminated the assistant principal positions at the school, making the move cost-neutral, so the office staff now consists of a secretary, an attendance clerk and the Richardson twins.
Although hardly anyone at the school can tell them apart, the co-principals prefer leading by example rather than taking advantage of the situation to try to catch students telling fibs or breaking rules.
"The students see us together, working well and respecting each other, and hopefully it sets a standard for the whole school," Ronald Richardson said.