Saturday, March 8, 2008

New Thing #57--I'm Published!

Back on February 28th, I wrote an editor to the editor. I was incredibly surprised to see my letter published (along with my name) in the newspaper, and ecstatic when someone mentioned to me that they actually read the letter. When I showed the newspaper to Donald, he told me I should hang it up on the refrigerator, like I used to do with his exceptional school papers.

Here's what I wrote:


Regarding “Bill would block drivers licenses for dropouts” (February 27th), State Rep. Rodney Hubbard, D-St. Louis, has obviously never been a teacher. He thinks that threatening to revoke the privilege of a drivers license for people younger than18 who have bad grades or drop out of school is enough motivation to keep them in the classroom.

It's difficult enough to teach students who want to be there. One or two unmotivated students in a large classroom can take a high proportion of the teacher’s energy—energy that should be used for planning and executing meaningful lessons. The time spent on the additional paperwork required for verification of attendance could be put to more productive classroom use.

It should be the prerogative of the parents, not the school, to decide when a child gets a drivers license. Some students have no choice but to drop out and support their family, or they are parents themselves. A dropout is already punished because he has to settle for menial, minimum-wage jobs.

If a student wants to drop out, he will, -- no matter what the punishment is. Teenagers are shortsighted and usually don’t respond rationally to deterrents.

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