Has there been a formal debunking of this "note home from teacher"?

The purported note says

My inclination is to immediately reject this note as a fake. However I have been surprised about this kind of thing in the past. I’d like it if someone has somehow taken the trouble to trace this note to its source.

Snopes calls it undetermined.

Well, I got in serious trouble as a sixth grader when the teacher told us that Central America is a country and those little lines on the map are states, you know, like Georgia and Texas are. God, it made me furious. I brought in outside cites, too. Got sent to the principal’s office and had a day of in school suspension.

Note that the Snopes page has a link to where it first showed up, and it looks like there’s some contact information there. No idea if it will turn out to have happened to a friend of a friend, and we know how those things usually pan out.

Yeah I’ve seen that one before. Any school that punishes my kid for correcting the teacher and being correct had better have a lawyer handy.

Not that it proves anything, but the fact the letter is dated 4/20 puts 1 point to the fake side

Right now I’m thinking of the phrase, “Just because it didn’t happen doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”

made my mom decide to run for the school board. I had a spiffy book I got for Christmas, Portraits of Nobel Laureates in Medicine and Physiology. The teacher said that Dr Walter Reid was the only inventor of the yellow fever vaccine. I objected and pointed out he shared the discovery with several other doctors, and showed him the book. I got slammed for correcting the jackass, and yelled at for having a non school book in my desk in class. I got sent to the office and put on detention for a week. My mom was ripping pissed, and she brought in the actual textbook he was supposed to be teaching from, where it even said that it was Dr Reid and a team that discovered the vaccine … she also pointed out that not only did I have a 4.0 average in the class, I had aced every single test and pop quiz, and submitted every single assignment on time and done correctly. She pointed out that that sort of teacher was why the quality of education was declining, and she told them that I was not going to finish that class with that jerk. I hung out in the library, and handed the questions in the book to the librarian to be graded, and took the NY state testing at the end of the year and still had my 4.0 grade … and the next year I went back to private school [where I was treated as a person, not a body filling a seat.] She got elected and kicked ass … a number of teachers got put on probation for the way they were treating the students and the overall test scores improved over the next 5 years.

My last job had me interacting with elementary school teachers on a daily basis. I could see about 10% of them babbling something like the OP. I had one wanting to check my math in case I had miscarried adding up her invoice in Excel.

Like the guys at microsoft missed that when they wrote excel. :rolleyes:

Right up there with proofreading photocopies.

I once initiated a long argument with my high-school physics teacher over a problem he’d worked out on the blackboard. He’d made two major math mistakes which just happened to cancel each other out, so he had the RIGHT answer according to his teacher’s textbook, but his methodology was completely broken. As more and more of the class caught on to what the error was he dug in his heels deeper and deeper. After all, the answer was RIGHT! The book said so! It was impossible for him to have made a mistake!

The point about the smart quotes seems pretty convincing to me on first glance. If this is a typewritten letter, which it’s supposed to look like, would most people have access to a typewriter that has both left and right quotes?

I also think it’s a fake, but mostly because the note is too well written for a grade school teacher.

You can search through every volume of your McKinney’s, but I’m pretty sure being a shitty teacher is not against the law.

As to the truth of the tale, the letter seems a little too arch to be genuine. I have no doubt that lèse majesté is still punished in the schools, albeit more clandestinely.

My mother was my homeroom teacher as well as my science teacher in 5th and 6th grade. I sat in the back of the class but always raised my hand and corrected her when she was obviously wrong and I would prove it to her later. That didn’t go over well and still doesn’t to this day on those subjects. The note is probably fake but something like that could easily happen somewhere.

It’s extremes that are wrong - I’m teacher so I’m right and let’s discuss this, we maybe stars are holes in the sky. We have to know when to put the foot down, that if you want to dispute this,learn about it first, and when not to, western orchestral music has value, rock and Afro-Asian are primitive.


He said lawyer, not D.A.

This kind of thing was why we both got very involved in our kids’ schools. Much easier to get heard if you have an existing relationship with the principal. But it is also why kids whose parents have a clue do better - because the parents will push back.
However I doubt the letter also. It smells of right wing “support vouchers because all public schools are terrible and teachers are ignorant Nazis” cant - see many Mallard Fillmores for example.

Thanks, and I promise I did look on Snopes, I just missed it somehow. :wink:

I remember interrupting my 4th grade teacher telling us that Davy Crockett was killed fighting at the Alamo (she’d seen the John Wayne movie - I hadn’t but used to browse the encyclopedia), to assert he was killed afterwards. Looking back as an adult, I realize she was just rolling her eyes and thinking to herself “he’s wrong, but let him have his moment. Davy Crockett is just as dead anyway.”

And I meant lawyer, not D.A. It is neither a crime nor a tort (the courts have repeatedly declined to create such causes of action as “instructional negligence” or “educational malpractice” nor are First Amendment rights implicated in forbidding a student from correcting his teacher mid-lesson nor has due process been violated in penalizing a student for doing so). On the more interesting topic of instructional negligence/educational malpractice, see “Educational Malpractice and Academic Damages”.

But, I guess you are right: to the extent that I said “you can search every volume of your McKinney’s” I should have said “you can search every volume of your McKinney’s and New York Reports” since I was also including the common law of torts. Nice catch.