Controversial Writing Assignment

by Harry on November 27, 2005

Some of you will already be aware of this story. I thought at the time that it was just a storm in a teacup — a group of teachers devise a spectacularly inappropriate assignment, some parents complain (I was shown some of the emails; they were annoyed but good-humoured), and the principal and District act promptly to stop the assignment. The local press make a meal of it because…well, its suddenly turned cold and there’s not a lot going on. The spokesperson for the teachers comes off as naïve, but not ill-willed. Ann Althouse, oddly, uses the case as a reason to suspect that the District does not have its act together — an odd conclusion to draw from a single instance in which it does the right thing effectively and immediately.

But then, yesterday, the local left-of-center paper published an extraordinary editorial defending the assignment. IF you read the NBC and Cap Times stories carefully you’ll see that their descriptions of the assignment differ. The NBC reporter showed me the assignment, and I have to admit that I did not take notes, but I definitely drew the implication that immediate withdrawal was demanded: the letter certainly said that if peace had not been achieved within 12 days the letter would be sent again.

The Cap Times editorial is wrong in so many ways I don’t know where to begin.

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