Oops, I totally thought I'd already updated this!
Rainbow was pretty frustrated when I first brought it up to her but when I started getting more in depth about everything, she was more frustrated with Maple. We had a big staff meeting that Friday where everyone was given the chance to air their grievances or forever hold their peace. Everyone had a problem with Maple and even though we all said it as nicely as possible, with several people pointing out your flaws, well, it just doesn't bring out the best in most people. Maple fired right back at us and tried to pick us apart but Rainbow stepped in and told her it was not her place to dictate how the barn should be run or how other employees should behave as her title is riding instructor and nothing more. She also said that the entire show team needed to come in for a meeting and that if Maple is finding herself unable to help them grow into the sophisticated and kind people she expects to have in her barn, the team would either be turned over to another instructor who was more capable or it would be completely scrapped (it's a big competitive show barn, so this was a really big deal). That was the gist of our meeting.
On Sunday was the team meeting, which all of the instructors were asked to attend. Rainbow stated the reason for the meeting, asked if anyone had anything they wanted to own up to or concerns to share. No one did, so she told them the consequences if this continues. Two of the younger girls started to cry. The mean girls oh-so-kindly made themselves known to Rainbow by sitting in the back smirking and giggling and acting bratty. I told them about the issues I had seen/heard of and called them out by name about it. They stuck to their whole misunderstood story. Flower and Sunshine also had some small contributions of issues they had with the team/the group. It was pretty obvious that none of the kids were comfortable speaking up in that setting, so Rainbow made a drop box for anonymous notes and said if anyone ever has any problems, that she wants a note about it (she also told non-show kids this and revised the conduct rules to be a little more current and reposted them in the barn). She had the mean girls stay after and she had an individual meeting with each set of parents. All of them are on probation until further notice which means they can come for lessons and required group chore days and during private ride times, but they are not to be unsupervised at any time, they are not allowed to loiter about, and all barn rules must be followed to the letter. If they mess up again, they will get a 1 month suspension from the team (which would essentially take them out of the competitive show season) at minimum, depending on what they did. If they do it again, they are off the team indefinitely/permanently (which would probably mean they would be changing barns). If they were still around after that and messed up again, they would be kicked out as soon as would be legally possible. All of the parents were pretty good about understanding this without much issue, except for one woman who basically said that girls will be girls and at that age, there's just nothing you can do to stop the behavior and people are being way too sensitive.
Maple is still throwing a bit of a fit about being told she may lose her job and she's not really speaking to the rest of us outside of what is absolutely necessary, but oh well. She's a drama queen. And if she keeps it up, Sunshine and I are the most likely two to fill her spot as coach and assistant coach, so if that's the risk she wants to take, that's just fine with me. The mean girls have been very quiet, I've barely even seen them out there this week. I think they're all a little embarrassed about being made examples of. The atmosphere of the barn is a little bit tense and awkward at times right now, but I think that should ease over time. It's only been almost a week, after all.
Rainbow was definitely great in dealing with the problem like she was last time, so I think if we all just stay really strict in our expectations for how things should go, it should be better from here on out, or at least problems will be able to be readdressed as they happen instead of snowballing. Rainbow is a nice person and a good BO/boss but because she's so busy and only teaches a select few students, she's not always as on top of certain things (like small negative moments that have little or nothing to do with her), so I think with Flower being more aware of what's going on and Sunshine and I feeling reassured that we can and should approach Rainbow when we need to, it should be a lot easier to keep up the positive atmosphere.
If I catch them at it, I will definitely use your suggestion, Lexophile. And Softly Spoken, no I had no connection to My Little Ponies when writing the first post, I was just looking at the maple tree in my front yard! But I do love My Little Ponies, so that's nice that it made that connection for you.