Joke Letter from Principal accidentally sent home to parents by teacher

Sara - posted on 02/26/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ -- Litchfield Elementary School Superintendent Julianne Lein has recommended that a district school principal, who wrote a sarcastic letter about students that was mistakenly sent home to parents, be reassigned to a district office position.

Lein also said she is working to hold a meeting for parents to discuss their concerns.

The letter sent home with second graders attending Litchfield Elementary School on Jan. 26 included disparaging remarks about students who could not complete their "easy" math assignments.

Some parents who have read the letter say it's funny.

"I found nothing offensive about it at all, I think it's very funny. I mean it's not for the children to see," said parent Celia Laughlin.

Other's don't think the letter is a laughing matter.

"It's not funny, it's bad for the kids," said a grandmother.

Litchfield Elementary School District Superintendent Dr. Julianne Lein said the district apologizes for the incident and is taking steps to remedy the situation.

The school district removed Principal Ron Sterr pending disciplinary action.

Sterr says he wrote a joke letter in response to caustic comments made by "an individual" and a teacher accidentally sent it home. He says he openly opposes the views expressed in the "mocking" letter he wrote.

"I just thought it was a joke. A joke he sent to some of his co-workers and evidently this co-worker didn't read it and sent it home to parents thinking it was a legitimate note from him," said a mom.

Many of the parents who spoke with ABC15 say they want the principal to stay at the school.

"He should be able to say his apologies and we can move on," said parent Heather O'Neil.


Read the Letter Parents Say They Received:

"Dear Parents,

Turn off the TV for once and pay attention.

Regarding math:

The math we do is really easy. If your child is either too lazy or too stupid to finish it in class, I'm sending it home so that you can work with them and judge for yourself whether it is laziness or idiocy that inhibits your child's progress. We do part of it in class. How on earth they can NOT finish it is beyond me, but please help them with the part that we do NOT do in class. If your child is one of the mediocre few who excels on the homework, please congratulate them with a warm handshake or perhaps a halfhearted high-five, since finishing this homework is the equivalent of a twenty-year-old wanting to be congratulated for knowing how to tie his shoes.

Regarding Field trip lunches:
We have a peanut allergy in our room and a few in second grade in general. Because of this, everyone must eat nut-free foods. We also have a child who is mourning their puppy who got run over last week by a garbage truck, so we ask that no one wear anything resembling puppy fur, or that is red and flat. Further, one of our students has a nervous tick that causes him to slap himself in face several times a minute. In order to help this child not feel conspicuous, we ask that your child imitate a crazed masochist for the length of this field trip."



Statement from Litchfield Elementary School District

On Wednesday, January 26th, an inappropriate parent letter was sent home with a second grade class at Litchfield Elementary School. The letter contained disparaging remarks about students which were unacceptable. The letter was authored by the principal, who was originally not forthcoming with parents in taking responsibility for his actions. The principal has called each parent individually to render an apology and take responsibility. The school district has placed the principal on administrative leave and has removed him from the principalship. Further disciplinary action is pending. The Litchfield School District renders its most sincere apology to our students, parents, community and staff for this incident. We are taking specific steps to remedy this situation.

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12 Comments

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Esther - posted on 03/04/2010

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Yeah, I remember once being on an airplane and nobody got desert because the desert contained nuts and there was a person on board with an allergy so they couldn't have it in the same cabin as this person. I never knew it worked like that either until that time.

Amie - posted on 03/04/2010

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Jess the problem with allergies is even being near one (product allergic too) with a severe allergy is that it could send a child into a reaction.



Peanut allergies are the worst. When I was in school (before schools started the no peanut rules) there was a boy in my class, who had a peanut allergy. He was taught to stay away from peanut products, how to check ingredients, etc. There was still the one jackass boy though who waved his peanut butter sandwich in the kids face. If the teachers hadn't been there and had known what to do about his allergic reaction (because of another kid); it would have killed him that day. We were in grade 6. This was 16 years ago.



It's not just about the kid with the allergy, it's about the other ones who DON'T know and understand because they don't have to, they don't live with it.

Jess - posted on 03/03/2010

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Thats soo funny !!!! The best part is for the most part its true !! I don't like the part about children being "too stupid", I think that was inappropriate. But lets face it, kids do slack off and it is our responsibility as parents to step in at home and help them finish their home work. And why should my child be told they can't eat something because someone else is allergic.... teach the allergic kid not to eat other people's food, simple ! Im lactose intolerant, does that mean no one at my work should drink milk or eat cheese ?



Teachers have a hard job, which is made worse by parents that arn't attentive. I have worked in a school before, you can tell which children come from those kind of families. The letter was clearly never meant to be seen by anyone except staff.



I work in insurance and we get emails like this all the time. It makes you smile, gives you the boost you need to take that next phone call, and listen to the next complaint. Anyone who works with customers would understand, and teachers are no different. Their customers are the students and their parents.



I think the apology was appropriate but it should be left at that !

Mary - posted on 03/02/2010

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Crap, I'm going to be a horrible parent, because if Molly brought this home, I would have laughed my ass off...and nothing more. I think I would have realized from the get-go that this was NOT meant to be sent to me, and that someone had screwed up horribly! I think I would have been more amused wondering what the consequences were going to be for whomever.



We can all sit around and say a principal should *never* speak or think about students like that...but c'mon now, they are human. I have to imagine that some students really are a bit slow, annoying or just ridiculous...as well as a lot of the parents. Sorry, but I'm sure all of us that hold ANY type of job that deals with the public has little tirades like these...from the guy behind the deli counter going off about how particular you are about shaved vs sliced meat, to the ER doc just dying over that fool with a rodent stuck up his ass. They don't do it in front of you (hopefully) but trust me, they are sharing with their co-workers in the break room. Sometimes, we all need to see the humor or mock the absurdity of our jobs in order to continue to do them well. It's unfortunate for this guy that his little joke got made public, but I really doubt that it means that he's an uncaring incompetent ass, either. Make him apologize, admit that it was childish and inappropriate, and move on.

[deleted account]

It is very unprofessional and uncalled for. I know it's a joke and he was venting. But we should all know by now that you should never put something in writing if you don't want it to get into the wrong hands. As a teacher, I can say that this type of banter occers regularly in the teacher's lounge. I've been guilty of it. But I also think that this negative attitude affects the way teachers do their jobs and interact with their students. All that aside, I think an apology is needed, but he should not lose his job over this. Like I said, most educators are guilty of saying similar things, but most just aren't dumb enough to put it in writting.

Rosie - posted on 03/01/2010

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i didn't really like the first part about math, but the rest of it was hilarious! when it comes from a school figure, and he's saying that my kid is as dumb as a rock, it would totally get to me. as long as he apologized though, i would be alright with it and move on.

Esther - posted on 02/28/2010

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Hmm - I think it's a little childish and not really up to "principal" standards. I also don't think that I would particularly appreciate a principal engaging in disparaging students with their teachers behind their backs. I find the comment equating a nervous tick with a "crazed masochist" over the line. Furthermore, "one of the mediocre few who excels on the homework" is a weird sentence I think (mediocre seems out of place) so perhaps Mr Principal himself could stand to benefit from some writing classes. That being said, we all do stupid and unprofessional things sometimes and I would be OK with him issuing an apology and then moving on.

Kendra - posted on 02/28/2010

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LOL!! That's funny!! I'd probably be upset at first but wouldn't hold a grudge. He messed up, apologized, move on! We've all done it in some form or another!!

Jessica - posted on 02/26/2010

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lol, I think it's pretty damn funny and bet most of the parents that got pissed are the ones whos kids are lazy... lol but I agree with Joce, he vented, it didnt' actually hurt anyone, he's saying sorry and should be left alone.

Amie - posted on 02/26/2010

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LMAO! It is funny but...

If that had come home with no explanation I would be furious. It just demonstrates though that teachers should actually pay attention to the notes the principal sends. I know at our school if it's a legitimate one that is supposed to go home then the teacher gets a stack of them. If it's one just for the teacher, well they're handed one and they look at it. The teacher was slacking I think. While grade 2 students may not be able to fully read what was written on the note, if they had an older sibling or such around to read it to them before mom and dad got it.... not cool.

Jocelyn - posted on 02/26/2010

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Lmao I think it's hilarious! But I can see how some of the more self-conscious, uptight parents would take offense at it. I think the principal should just say his apology, and that should be the end of it. There is no need to make him switch positions. Everyone vents and tells sarcastic jokes, it was just an accident that the letter was actually sent home.

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