Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.
Claim: Letter from high school offers to allow students to make monetary donations to offset inatttendance and poor grades.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, July 2013]
There is a picture of a copy of a letter circulating, allegedly from a prominent suburban Chicago high school initiating an "Earned Academic Rewards Network" program whereby students can make monetary donations to offset tardyies, absences, homework assignments and/or test scores:
Origins: This image of a purported letter from Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire,
Illinois, began circulating on the Internet on 8 July 2013. The text of the alleged missive announces a new effort by the school's Social Studies department to boost unsatisfactory student achievement by introducing a program which allows freshman to make "charitable contributions" ranging from $10 to $35 in order to receive homework passes, extra credit points, and test exemptions, as well as to offset unexcused tardies. Such "donated funds" would go towards improving the school's infrastructure, providing new technology for school offices, and relieving "budgetary constraints for teachers."
On 10 July 2013, administrators posted a notice on the school's Facebook page advising inquirers that the letter was a hoax:
There is a fake Stevenson letter being circulated via social media, claiming students can pay donations for excusing tardies and homework, receiving extra credit, and test exemptions. This is a hoax, and IS NOT a Stevenson letter, program, or from a Stevenson employee. This is not something the District would ever endorse.
Apparently the letter was not intended as a prank, but was something created as a teaching tool for a history class:
[Eric Twadell, superintendent of Stevenson High School District 125, said,] "It turned out a teacher had created [the letter] and used it as a modern-day example of what papal indulgences may look like [today] compared to 500 years ago in the medieval realm. People would pay off the Pope for ridiculous things ... I think (the teacher) used it as an illustrative tool."
Stevenson teachers have used the letter for "many, many years" to teach a unit on medieval Rome in world history classes, he said.
Last updated: 10 July 2013
Black, Lisa. "Fake Letter Was Teaching Tool, District 125 Official Says."