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School Principal Mocks Nut Allergies in Letter

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Is this okay?

Momlogic's Julie: Wow, if my kid went to Litchfield Elementary School in Arizona right now, I would be mad as hell.

Ron Sterr

A letter sent home on Jan. 26 with second graders attending Litchfield Elementary School in Arizona , written by principal Ron Sterr, has caused a major uproar. And once you read it, you'll see why.

Sterr says he wrote a joke letter in response to caustic comments made by "an individual" and a teacher accidentally sent it home. He says he openly opposes the views expressed in the "mocking" letter he wrote.

The letter reads:

Dear Parents,

Turn off the TV for once and pay attention.

Regarding math:

The math we do is really easy. If your child is either too lazy or too stupid to finish it in class, I'm sending it home so that you can work with them and judge for yourself whether it is laziness or idiocy that inhibits your child's progress. We do part of it in class. How on earth they can NOT finish it is beyond me, but please help them with the part that we do NOT do in class. If your child is one of the mediocre few who excels on the homework, please congratulate them with a warm handshake or perhaps a halfhearted high-five, since finishing this homework is the equivalent of a twenty-year-old wanting to be congratulated for knowing how to tie his shoes.

Regarding Field trip lunches:
We have a peanut allergy in our room and a few in second grade in general. Because of this, everyone must eat nut-free foods. We also have a child who is mourning their puppy who got run over last week by a garbage truck, so we ask that no one wear anything resembling puppy fur, or that is red and flat. Further, one of our students has a nervous tic that causes him to slap himself in face several times a minute. In order to help this child not feel conspicuous, we ask that your child imitate a crazed masochist for the length of this field trip.

The principal has now been suspended. Here is the school's response:

On Wednesday, January 26th, an inappropriate parent letter was sent home with a second grade class at Litchfield Elementary School. The letter contained disparaging remarks about students which were unacceptable. The letter was authored by the principal, who was originally not forthcoming with parents in taking responsibility for his actions. The principal has called each parent individually to render an apology and take responsibility. The school district has placed the principal on administrative leave and has removed him from the principalship. Further disciplinary action is pending. The Litchfield School District renders its most sincere apology to our students, parents, community and staff for this incident. We are taking specific steps to remedy this situation.


I personally would be beyond mad if our school principal sent home such an insensitive letter, whether he was joking or not. I would be especially angry if my kid had a nut allergy or a nervous tic.

Thankfully, my kids go to a public school that is led by a principal I admire and respect. If a letter like this came home, I would be speechless.

Do YOU think this guy should be fired ... or do you think everyone is over-reacting? What would you do if you got this letter?

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96 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jenny February 3, 2010, 3:58 PM

I am disgusted. The man obviously hates his job and resents the children, he needs to find employment in another field. My child is autistic and does have tics and though my child doesn’t go to this school I am still offended about what he said.

Selfish Mom February 3, 2010, 4:29 PM

It’s not that the letter is so bad - totally completely inappropriate but nothing worse than parents say in private to each other. It’s that he had the bad judgement to put pen to paper, so to speak. If he lacks judgement in that area I wouldn’t trust him with anything else.

Pamala February 3, 2010, 4:31 PM

Okay obviously this guy doesn’t like what he’s doing but didn’t the teacher read the letter before handing it out? I mean seriously the principal couldn’t have been the only one to read this letter, right?

Anna February 3, 2010, 4:31 PM

Welcome to Arizona,
I grew up in Arizona and went to school there.
I have seen way worse.
From teachers and principals who bash religion and homosexuality in class, teachers who claim students lie about a family member’s death, teachers who get huge breast implants and have sex with students, and principals that rip out student’s facial piercings.

It’s terrible that teachers and principals even pull these things in the first place.

Anonymous February 3, 2010, 4:37 PM

It’s not the letter so much as the act of writing it. I’ve grown up surrounded by those all ranks of the education field and they say far worse about your kid than that.

Mic February 3, 2010, 4:45 PM

Fire his arse.

Anonymous February 3, 2010, 4:47 PM

I found it refreshing and true.

just sayin February 3, 2010, 4:53 PM

Wow, I’m surprise that the title refers to the mocking of the peanut allergy. That seems to be the mildest part of his rant. As for the rest of the letter, yes it was in bad taste and sometimes the truth hurts and is best left unsaid but maybe he’s got a point about the classwork/homework part of it. And even though I know the peanut allergy is very real and very dangerous for some people, many kids love pb&j’s and some people are bothered by not being able to let their children have them in school. I think the worst part of his letter was about the child with the tic. Children who have issues that cause them to be different than other children definetly should not be picked on because of it. So shame on him for that!

David February 3, 2010, 4:56 PM

HAHAHA This guy is hilarious. You parents are delusional if you don’t think you deserve this mockery. It’s not even that malicious. Give it a rest, PTA.

Anonymous February 3, 2010, 4:59 PM

Don’t be angry because he can say what others are afraid to. I’d be quite pleased with a principle who is this witty.

tennmom February 3, 2010, 5:03 PM

MAJOR over-reacting happening there (and here).
Hello? Did the poster forget saying at the beginning of this post:

he wrote a joke letter in response to caustic comments made by “an individual” and a teacher accidentally sent it home

I wouldn’t be “mad as hell” or participate in a “major uproar”.
The poster and several people making comments need to get over themselves. You all get at least a 7 hour break from your child(ren) Monday-Friday when school is in session. Some of you have no idea what a major pain in the butt your children can be.

Matt February 3, 2010, 5:03 PM

Why crucify this guy for saying what what everyone else is thinking, Brave guy and i wish the principal at my sons school had balls that big.

Holly February 3, 2010, 5:10 PM

I thought it was funny. I have an autistic kid with Touretts (major tics). It didn’t offend me. It made me laugh. Quit taking yourself so seriously. You would be surprised at the inane messages teachers get from parents. I would love to send something home like this.

Shelby February 3, 2010, 5:15 PM

I lol’d.

Thomas February 3, 2010, 5:15 PM

I think the letter is hilarious. Anyone who was offended by this obviously didn’t understand what he was saying and are probably the parents he was making fun of.

Jessi February 3, 2010, 5:22 PM

Belittling the nut allergy was over-stepping it a little bit; but as for the math one, its about damn time a principal cares enough to get parents involved with their education. If the parents are to lazy or busy to help their kids with math, then I hope his pervoking humour caused them to think about it.

Alley February 3, 2010, 5:24 PM

I think it was completely honest. I am familiar with a child who will be failing 4th grade this year due to her complete idiocy at spelling and mathematics, and it is partially the fault of the parents, who are not consistant in supervising and guiding their children’s home studies. Parents SHOULD be more involved, and students should NOT suffer as a whole due to one student’s issues. Trust me, I know. I applaud this principal for finally speaking up.

anonymous February 3, 2010, 5:38 PM

I agree with this principal. Because for once, a guy actually stands up to the laziness and overly PC bull that everyone has to deal with? Screw your kids, if my kid wants to enjoy a pb&j, he’s gonna enjoy a pb&j even if one of his classmates is allergic to peanuts! If I make my kid a pb&j in the morning for his lunch, he should be able to eat it. I hate modern schools.

Hazel February 3, 2010, 5:41 PM

I fell over laughing….

The only ones I could see being offended are the ones who don’t take responsibility for their children. It was a tongue in cheek letter, which he warned about in the beginning…

Stop taking yourself so seriously, it was not meant for children to read, it was a humorous way to wake parents up to what is happening in the classes…so get over yourselves and make your kids do their homework.

Jenny February 3, 2010, 5:56 PM

Well I guess I am one of the parents that he was talking about,I guess I must take no responsibility for my child and take everything to heart too much. Oh well, I’m still offended and I’m sorry if many of you think its an over reaction, I still feel the way I feel and I am entitled to that in the same way that you all are entitled to your feelings.

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