Going through old papers recently I found the letter posted below, about which we have laughed as a family several times in the years since. It was written when my son was in the fifth grade, to his music teacher at the time. Obviously, he had reported the injustice to me, and I was determined to make it right. Check out the attachments at the bottom — I’m laughing today, but we had no more trouble out of that teacher the rest of the year. Sometimes a mom’s got to fight.

2-24-99 midnight

Dear Dr. L——,

My son, [name], did not understand that he was to copy verbatim all the information you had on the board in your class on Tuesday. Therefore, he was not able to re-copy information that he had not written in the first place.

As he was not among the students creating a disruption, I expect there to be no negative consequences for him. I also expect him not to be ridiculed or humiliated, in class or out, for any reason. I have no problem with fair discipline, calmly communicated.

Thank you.

Vivian Ruth Sawyer

cc: David B—–, principal
Sally G——, teacher

Att: 1998-99 Uniform Code of Student Conduct and the Student Bill of Rights
p. 4 — student responsibilities — no violation
p. 5 — B — staff’s resonsibilities — violation of items # 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 & 13
p. 7 — “Harrassment. . . .is intimidation by threats. . . .or the expression of hatred, contempt, or prejudice toward an individual.”
p. 12 — The Right to Freedom from Harrassment and Discrimination
p. 38 — violation of #8 The Right to Freedom from Abuse