Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Teacher's letter home upbraids student for correcting him in class.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2006]
Origins: Many of us, during our time in school, have encountered teachers who made mistakes in class and viewed corrections from students not as opportunities to learn something themselves,
That is the set-up in the letter displayed above, putatively written by a teacher (Adam Hilliker) to the mother of one of his students, notifying the parent that her son (Alex) will be serving one hour's detention for "disregarding authority" and demonstrating a "complete lack of respect for his school." The student's transgression? Having corrected a teacher who insisted to his class that a kilometer was longer than a mile. (In fact, a kilometer is only about 62% of a mile.) Although
Is this image a scan of a real letter? Many readers have seized on small details to declare it phony (e.g., the similarity of the names "Adam Hilliker" and "Adolf Hitler" combined with a letter dated on Hitler's birthday; the supposedly too-early appearance of smart quotes in a letter dating from 1994, the seeming lack of distortion in wrinkled portions of the page). All we know all this point is that the image was posted on the Internet back in
Last updated: 29 November 2006
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