Cookies and Capacitors

Another letter to Chad Ellefson

Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 9:10AM

This version of the letter was actually sent to him.

I understand why you believe that a lunch detention is appropriate for my misconduct on Mrs. Kutz’s AP Computer Science semester exam. However, I disagree that a detention would be the most appropriate response to my infraction.

As stated on page thirty-four of the Student Handbook, a detention is, “designed to eliminate disruptive behavior.” My behavior, as it was written and not said, was not disruptive to the class. After speaking with Mrs. Kutz about the issue, we have agreed that class operations should be improved, and she will attempt to do so. In addition, it is in the belief of myself, and the teachers I have discussed this issue with, that the punishment does not fit the crime. Instead, a more suitable punishment would be to write an apology letter to Mrs. Kutz which should elaborate upon my intentions and beliefs of what the educational society should become. If the school wishes to eliminate disruptive behavior, it has succeeded. After being put in such a position, I now have the language to powerfully control and influence others to change education in the direction I believe things should be taught.

Even though I did not intend my words to be taken to levels of personal offense (rather an attack on prescribed teaching methodology and national curriculums), I see why they were taken as such. Our goal for the future should be fix the educational society by changing the current teaching methods. I understand that cannot be achieved through indecency (which is ironically, and unjustly, dictated by the society I am criticizing).

I felt the class was a waste of my time, but I could have chosen a more productive way to express my dissatisfaction. An apology letter would both serve to amend my relationship with Mrs. Kutz while simultaneously helping me grow as a communicator. Please consider my view and understand my frustration. I would like you to know that I forgive the school for issuing me a lunch detention, but I believe that particular punishment does not fit my crime.