Prank tells students they can pay for better grades

"Money is life’s report card"

A letter from Stevenson High School in Illinois was being sent around via social media and email. The letter said that the school was going to start a new program where freshman could "make financial donations to ease academic and extracurricular obligations."

In other words, students could pay money to get extra credit. For instance, the letter said $20 would give a student five extra credit points, while $35 would excuse a student from a test.

Just like the real world.

School officials said it was a hoax and had to calm down people who thought it was real. They posted a message on their Facebook page:
“This is a hoax, and IS NOT a Stevenson letter, program, or from a Stevenson employee. This is not something the district would ever endorse."
Stevenson High School Principal Troy Gobble said he didn’t know who created the hoax, but he said he’d “want to have a chat with them about responsible use of our letterhead.”

But it turns out the school was the one responsible.

The fake letter was part of a lesson plan. It had been used by teachers for years to teach a history lesson about medieval papal indulgences by the Catholic Church, where sinners could pay to have their sins erased.

So the high school was responsible for the contents of the letter, yet not responsible for how the letter was used.

- Extra credit for $20 at Stevenson High? Just a hoax, Chicago Tribune>>
- Fake letter was teaching tool, District 125 official says, Chicago Tribune>>
- "Money is life's report card."  William Hamilton, New Yorker Cartoon>>

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