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Dean Dunce: Error-Strewn Letter Sent To Parents

STATEN ISLAND A local school administrator is under fire after sending a letter home to parents that was loaded with multiple misspellings, grammatical gaffes, and imperfect punctuation.

Parents of students at Markham Intermediate School in Staten Island aren't sure whether to laugh or cry foul after reading the error-laden letter.

"I'd be worried that somebody was educating my son that doesn't know how to spell," said Lucy Farfan-Narcisse, whose child attends the school. "That would be a great concern."

Misspellings in the letter handed out by Health Academy Dean Michael Levy are rampant and include such quandaries as:

• "Caferteria," for "Cafeteria"

• "Unexcecpable" for "Unacceptable"

• "Activates" for "Activities" -- which occurred twice in the letter.

• Other grammatical errors, including the wrong use of tenses and punctuation.

The letter was written in response to a rowdy food fight apparently thrown by a large group of eighth graders in the cafeteria on Monday. Several teachers and parents defended the dean, claiming he has his hands full at the school.

"He's very good with kids. He really is a good dean, he watches over them at lunch time and whenever needed," said Karen Couso, a teacher's aide at the school.

Eighth graders who were given the letter say Levy warned them of the mistakes. "He was like, 'Oh, there's going to be a couple of misspellings and errors,'' said Richie Hawkins, a student at the school. "He was like, 'They had to do it really quick before the end of the day.'"

Most students CBS 2 spoke to weren't bothered by the errors, but rather the punishments printed in the letter -- such as banishment from prom if parents didn't sign and return it -- that irked parents and students alike.

Principal Emma Della Rocca told CBS 2 the letter was sent without her approval, and another letter rescinding it, will be handed out tomorrow.

Della Rocca says a conference will be held with Levy on Friday to determine what kind of action should be taken regarding the letter he wrote. As for the food fight that sparked it, school officials say it is still under investigation and the students involved will be held accountable.

Kinj

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