Humor Blogs - Blog RankingsBlog DirectoryRSS Search

Letter Supporting James Tate Attending Shelton High School Senior Prom

by George on May 13, 2011

Homer Simpson

This is a reproduction of the email I sent to Dr. Beth Smith, the headmaster (seriously, headmaster?) of Shelton High School, regarding her decision to blindly follow policy and exclude James Tate from attending his senior prom because he taped his prom invitation to the wall of the high school.

Dear Dr. Smith,

As much as I applaud your efforts to maintain a consistent posture on rule enforcement, I feel compelled to request you give the matter of James Tate’s offense and punishment additional consideration.

The young are certainly a foolish and often unpredictable lot and need to be held accountable for their inanity – on this I am sure we agree. But I know that in adjudicating their trespasses, the punishment really needs to fit the crime.

James clearly broke a rule, but I don’t believe his foolishness rises to the standard of a profane, hateful, or otherwise personally malicious attack that would rightfully forfeit his privilege of attending his senior prom.

It appears he only sought to make a girl feel special – and succeeded. His methods were unconventional, but their parallel are more “Greg Brady” than they are “John Hinckley.”

We look to our educators to teach and this is a teachable moment. You have it within your power to appropriate a punishment consistent with the offense – and I think a lesson in compassion is no less important than a lesson in obedience.

My hope is that you will allow James to attend his senior prom – the only senior prom he will ever have – and punish his misguided romantic gesture with something that might serve a higher purpose.

I realize that this is a risky venture for someone in your position, but I believe an act of compassion in this regard will be understood as such.

I appreciate your time and consideration of this note.

Best regards,

George Jones
118 Thistle Pond Drive
Bloomfield, CT 06002


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda J May 14, 2011 at 11:13 am

Excellent letter George. The response of the headmistress is one that I would expect from a military academy. Give this guy a break, real life starts AFTER graduation. Let him and his girlfriend enjoy the last major event of their senior year before graduation.


George May 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm

The “zero tolerance” policy is probably only suitable in a military academy.


Amber Abshire May 14, 2011 at 12:41 am

I agree, just because you have made a decision does not mean you can take a day or two and consider if it is the right one.


George May 14, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Good point. I think her motivations were good, but her apparent intransigence was hard to fathom. A little time to reconsider was certainly in order – thanks for the comment Amber!


Donna May 14, 2011 at 12:31 am

Think of the lesson that the students will be learning if the decision is reversed. That adults have the responsibility to correct themselves when a decision is made in haste. We have all made that mistake and it takes a person of integrity to admit their error and make a change.


George May 14, 2011 at 2:21 pm

I agree Donna – and applaud her for reversing the initial decision.


Jodi May 13, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Thank you George, you articulated my thoughts exactly! I sent an e-mail to the Mayor and I called the school. Sadly, I don’t believe she will reconsider.


George May 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm

These zero-tolerance types seldom change their mind. They use policies to free themselves from the burden of thinking.


Brenda Milhomme May 13, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Thank you George for taking time to write in support of this young man and his friends. I hope the headmaster will reconsider.


George May 13, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I hope so, too. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime.


Leave a Comment