Quick Check-In (short story)

Dear Mrs. Parker,

    I just wanted to have a quick check-in in regards to Halloween.  As I am sure you are aware from my numerous emails and classroom visits, my family is non-denominational, non-secular, trans-political, agnostics.  This was a position that, I was under the impression, you Mrs. Parker respected. As you should well know, we chose this school specifically because of its righteous indignation and its firm yet nondescript commitment to image of equality.  Therefore Mrs. Parker, I was shocked and saddened to read your email expressing that the second grade class was “welcome to wear school appropriate costumes to class on Tuesday”. As non-denominational, non-secular, trans-political, feminist, environmentalist agnostics, we do not celebrate such europhilic holidays.  I try very hard to instill a sense of universal love and cultural understanding in my children. This, in fact, is why I make a point of physically touching people of color whenever I see them out and about. A practice which your school has somehow deemed against your code of conduct. Tell me Mrs. Parker, if my children don’t see me confidently stroking an elderly Latino man’s hair, how will they ever know that he is my exactly my equal or maybe in fact better than me, who am I to say?  That Middle Eastern woman trying to get her shopping done might be the president of her country. There’s simply no way of knowing! And if I don’t grab her by the shoulders and kiss her directly on the lips, how will she know that I’m not just another culturally inept Republican? Yet, you and your “school” insist on continuous ethnocentrism by celebrating holidays like Halloween and Arbor Day. Frankly, I feel like I am being profiled against. Not only are my children non-denominational, non-secular, trans-political, feminist, environmentalist, Angora, agnostics, but they are also gluten and dairy free.  Can you imagine how they will feel on Tuesday, when all of their friends come dressed in costumes which hideously degraded the medically un-livings while scarfing malt balls, while they only have homemade setan and their hemp clothing? Terrible. How am I supposed to teach my children tolerance when everyone keeps doing things I disagree with? As non-denominational, non-secular, feminist, trans-political, environmentalist, Angora, human centipede, agnostics, my family faces constant adversity. You are just another in a long line of people who hate us simply by virtue of the things we say and do. Therefore, I ask that none of the children celebrate the holiday either at school or at home.  This has been a horrible oversight down entirely to your personal negligence and it calls, I will be blunt, into question your intelligence and your fitness as a teacher. I expect such a mistake will not be made again.

Warmth and light,

      Cathy Whitecastle


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