Confirmed: The letter is real.
David Codrea links to a very odd BuzzPo report:
School Requests Students be Armed with Canned Food Items to Thwart a Possible School Shooting
The W.F. Burns Middle School has just taken one gigantic leap into the realm of brain death. They’ve actually sent out letters to parents requesting canned food items be sent to the school with students to be used as potential weapons, in the event of a possible school shooting.
I’m thinking “hoax.” That letter is dated January 9, yet managed to get sent to parents, forwarded to BuzzPo, and published January 9?
Even better, close examination of the picture of the letter shows a lot of artifacting around the text, but without the same sort of artifacts around the letterhead. More, some of the individual characters are not aligned properly with adjacent characters, suggesting sloppy cut&paste. For that matter, the “from” header appears to read “Priscella Holley, PrOncipal”. (It’s properly spelled “principal” under Donna Bell’s (assistant principal) name.
Maybe it’s real; I’ve seen dumber stuff from alleged professional educators. But I’m withholding judgement for now.
Update, 1/12/15: Despite several inquiries posted by others on the school’s Facebook page, I’ve yet to see anything from the school confirming or denying the letter’s authenticity. I just sent an email to PrOincipal Holley requesting just that, as well as some background on her thinking should the letter be real.
Update 2, 1/12/15: I’m sorry to say that it’s starting to look like the letter is real.