At least three Hamptons high school sophomores came dangerously close to failing their winter term paper before vigilant parents took notice this week.
Barry Delson, Chet Marks and Debbie “Lil De De” Harris received a 49, 3 and 59 respectively, which is well below the passing grade of 65, sources in the history class said, noting that their research papers were supposed to be about “poignant moments in history and other stuff.”
“Initially, I couldn’t find enough merit in the work to pass these students,” history teacher Dane Branson recalled, noting he was especially vexed by Chet’s paper, which was actually just a note that read: “Dear Mr. Branson I would have wrote this paper awesome but you really did not teach me good enough to do it. I should not be punished for your failings.” Debbie and Barry submitted papers comprising a mix of paragraphs cut and pasted from the internet, followed by brief comments such as “Assassination WTF? Totally racist. RIP MLK” or “Moon landing is total crap. Pictures totally Photoshopped. Kubrick punked the nation on this one FTW.”
After papers were returned, Branson reportedly met with the three students’ parents and school administrators to discuss the failing grades. “Once we talked it became clear that I was being too hard on the students and myself as a teacher,” he said. “I reread the work and found some really solid kernels of wisdom from these kids, proving that I, and my students, had indeed met the standards.”
Each of the papers was adjusted to a passing grade and Branson reports that future tests and papers will be modified to better meet the expectations of students, parents and administrators. “I expect the class average to improve significantly by the end of this term,” the teacher said, pointing out that the Hamptons high school will likely be among the nation’s top scoring schools by 2016.
Meanwhile, Debbie and Barry said they will have more time to practice for America’s Best Dance Crew and Chet can ride dirt bikes in the gravel pits.