A reader in Texas responds to a post about the Dallas superintendent, who has sent out directions to schools to express themselves only in positive terms:
This blog reminds me: we got a new superintendent in our district where I was the deputy superintendent. His FIRST act was to send out a memo to all staff. His directive was that absolutely everybody had to start all letters and all memoranda and all emails with this statement: “Today is November 21, 2012, and it is a wonderful day!”
Many of us spent the rest of the day writing and sharing parodies. “Today is xxx, xx, xxxx, and it is a wonderful day! I am writing to tell you that due to budget restraints we have eliminated your position, effective immediately.”.
“Today is…., and it is a wonderful day! Due to the flu epidemic, we have determined it prudent to close our schools for the next three days in order to prevent more cases.”
“Today is …, and it is a wonderful day! Please join me in sending condolences to the parents of the young man who lost his life in the school bus accident last week.”
“Today is …., and it is a wonderful day. This letter is to inform you that since your daughter failed the exit assessment, she will not graduate with her class next week.”
“Today is …., and it is a wonderful day! The Texas legislature cut $5.4 billion from the education budget, so we must close schools, lay off staff, and eliminate preschool programs.”
Needless to say, we formed a pact and swore we would commit civil disobedience, and we did! He continued the ridiculous practice, but he never said a word to those who refused. This man lost every iota of credibility that he might have enjoyed simply by virtue of his position with that one demand for happy talk.
I know, I know. As deputy supt., I probably should not have led the coup.