KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf
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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Civics Lesson

In my children's school district, as in many in the United States, a parent must send in a note to the child's teacher the day after the child misses a day of school, explaining why the child was absent. Usually, the reason is illness. But sometimes it's another reason, one that falls into the category that the school district calls "unexcused." This is the note that accompanied both of my sons to their schools today:
Dear Ms. X,

[My son] missed school Wednesday, November 5, because his father and I believed it important that he be awake election night to witness history being made. Because of that, he did not get enough sleep that night to have been able to function well in school the next day. Normally, we would not keep him out of school unless he were ill, but election night was an unprecedented opportunity for him to see our country put racism aside for the good of all—the ultimate civics lesson.

Sincerely,
Katharine O’Moore-Klopf


3 comments:

Ms. Matters said...

And here is an example of notes I sent, annually, to my daughter's school:

Dear So-and-so,
Tonight we will be attending a Seder, as it marks the beginning of the year's Passover. We are honored to be invited every year to this family's very large gathering and it is a ritual that X (daughter) anticipates with great pleasure.

She will not be handing in the assigned homework the next day, and we expect her to be very tired, as the festivities run late. I know you support the diversity among your students’ families, and I know X (daughter) will catch up on her work as always.

Meanwhile, will you please keep a careful eye on her tomorrow? Great fatigue is the primary ingredient for physical injury.

Thanks for your understanding.

My signature

P.S. Since she was five, X has participated in the rotational readings during dinner, impressing everyone with her reading and her not caring whether they are impressed, or not. Thank you for giving her such a good start.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Great letter. Sometimes the most important lessons occur outside of school.

Ms. Matters said...

Well, Katharine, I was so full of my own self there I neglected to commend you on your fine letter which was the catalyst for my comment.

Sorry, and way to go. I think and believe voting is much more than a right. I consider it a responsibility. It always heartens me to know other families are raising their young properly.

bd

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