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When I first constructed this web site three years ago,

I had no idea how much controversy it would cause.

Honestly, I just wanted to post some of my own

writing here. Soon, hundreds of students were

e-mailing me their essays to add to my list.

Along with essays, I received tons of mail from

students who said they really appreciated my site, and

that it helped them more than I could ever know. I

received no complaints from teachers, just praise

from students. I suspected students were plagiarizing

from my web site, but I wasn’t sure.

It wouldn’t have taken much convincing for me to

take down this site. When it was first constructed, I

had to spend hundreds of hours processing essays

and answering mail. It was a lot of work, and if

someone had sent a polite e-mail regarding the ethics

of this site, I would have ended it in a minute!

Then one day, the judicial affairs department at my

university called me into their office. I had to have a

private meeting with the dean regarding my site.

I was shocked to find out that their department had

received approximately 50 calls from upset teachers!

Every single one of them was asking the dean to expel

me from the university — basically, kick me out!

I never received any e-mail from these teachers.

They never voiced their feelings to me, nor did they

try to explain how my site hurt their students’

education. They decided to ignore me as a human,

and try to ruin my future by taking away my chance at

a college degree. Aren’t these people interested in

protecting education? Obviously not, if they want to

expel me from school.

If any of these teachers had taken a minute to write a

polite e-mail, they would have found out that I am a

very reasonable, and compassionate person. They

might have also found out that getting through college

has been a major hardship for me. Neither of my

parents went to college, and they had no interest in

paying for my education. So, for the last six years of

my life, I’ve been working full or part time to struggle

through school. In my last year of school, those

teachers were going to take all of that work away

from me, without bothering to confront me about their


At that point, I knew who my friends were! The

students who sent me loving e-mail, praising me for

helping them were my real friends! I learned that the

First Amendment protected my right to have this site

up, and those rude, insensitive teachers couldn’t touch

me. So, I put more work into this site than ever


Three years later, judicial affairs continues to receive

vicious demands from teachers, and I hear nothing …

until today! The letter copied to the right is the first

polite e-mail I have ever received from a teacher.

Because of Ms. Ball’s thoughtful letter, I am

discontinuing this site. I don’t mean to “ditch” the

students who used this site, but I really don’t think my

essays are helping their education. In the long run, I’m

helping them more by taking down this site.

Please, let this be a lesson to everyone: if you are

offended by some action a person takes, you should

confront them and explain your feelings to them. You

will be much more likely to get your way if you treat

people with respect. If you blindly attack them

because you’re angry, you’ll never get anywhere.

Note: Can you believe I took down this site just short of one

million visits!?

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