Education should always come secondary to discipline.
I don't get on all that well with my offspring's teacher. Ever since the day she gave him a brochure explaining the 'true' meaning of Christmas, I've had my eye on her.
Recently, my offspring took a game called Tower Defense to school on a USB drive. As far as games are concerned, it's quite strategic and positive. At least it's not about stealing cars and shooting hookers. While I understand schools have rules for a reason, I do not feel being banned from using school computers is in any way an appropriate punishment.
I do however feel an appropriate punishment for handing out medieval metaphysic propaganda to children would be a good old fashioned stoning.
From: Margaret Bennett
Date: Friday 22 August 2009 3.40pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: computer room

Hello David
I tried to call you but your phone is off. Just letting you know that Seb brought a flash drive to school yesterday and copied a game onto the school computers. This is against school policy and he has been banned from using the computer room for the remainder of the term.
Sincerely, Margaret
From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 25 August 2009 9.16am
To: Margaret Bennett
Subject: Re: computer room

Dear Maggie,
Thank you for your email. I'm not answering my mobile phone at the moment as I am experiencing iPhone envy and every second spent using my Nokia is like being trapped in a loveless marriage. Where you stay together for the kids. And the kids have iPhones.
I agree that banning him from access to the computers at school is an appropriate punishment. Especially considering his enthusiasm for the subject. Education and access to the tools necessary for such should always come secondary to discipline. When I was young, discipline was an accepted part of each school day. Once, when I coloured outside the lines, I was forced to stand in the playground with a sign around my neck that read 'non-conformist' while the other children pelted me with rubble from the recently torched school library.
Also, if you happen to see Seb eating anything over the next few weeks, please remove the food from him immediately. He forgot to feed his turtle last night and I feel a month without food will help him understand both the importance of being a responsible pet owner and the effects of malnutrition.
Regards, David
From: Margaret Bennett
Date: Tuesday 26 August 2009 4.10pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: computer room

David
I'm sure you're not being serious about the food but I have forwarded your email to the principal as per school policy.
I will also speak to the principal about the ban but you have to understand that only government approved software is allowed on the computers and Seb knew this rule.
Margaret
From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 27 August 2009 11.18am
To: Margaret Bennett
Subject: Re: Re: Re: computer room

Dear Maggie,
I do understand the need for conformity. Without a concise set of rules to follow we would probably all have to resort to common sense. Discipline is the key to conformity and it is important that we learn not to question authority at an early age.
Just this week I found a Sue Townsend novel in Seb's bag that I do not believe is on the school approved reading list. Don't concern yourself about it making its way to the school though as we attended a community book burning last night. Although one lady tried to ruin the atmosphere with comments regarding Mayan codices and the Alexandrian Libraries, I mentioned to the High Magus that I had overheard her discussing spells to turn the village cow's milk sour and the mob took care of the rest.
And rest assured I would not really withhold food from a child. Just this morning Seb and I were discussing the importance of good nutrition which is why, if you check in his school bag, you will find a bag of rice, vegetables, a wok, and a camp stove. The gas bottle can be a little tricky but has instructions printed on the side so he should be fine. Please remind him to stand well back and cover his face while igniting it, as the hose is worn and has developed a small leak.
Also, I'm not sure what you are teaching in your classroom, but Seb came home last week talking about a healthy eating pyramid. I had to explain to him that pyramids are made of stone and therefore not edible so I'd appreciate you not filling his head with these fanciful notions.
Regards, David
From: Margaret Bennett
Date: Thursday 28 August 2009 11.56am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: computer room

David,
I have spoken to the principal and in this instance we will lift the ban.
Margaret