The sign went up late on Friday, when the children were out of school. Black letters on a white board perched over the parking lot at Lakewood High in St. Petersburg, Florida. Patricia Schley, the school's literacy coach, was trying to promote a training session for parents. She wanted to show them how to help their teens become better readers.
Wednesday night — the extra day of the leap year — would be literacy night. She told the principal about her plan. The principal asked the custodian to advertise literacy night on the school sign. So on Friday afternoon, Austin Simmons lifted the letters to the sign, slid them into words: "Laeping to literacy night 6:30 p.m."
On Sunday morning, Schley was leaving church when she saw the sign. She blanched, embarrassed and upset. "I'm the literacy coach," she said. "Of course that reflects on me." She pulled over and texted the principal: "We don't LAEP into literacy."
Principal Robert Vicari wanted to change the sign right then, but it would have to wait until Monday. The sign was fixed before the children returned to school. The custodian apologized to the principal. "He's a great guy," Vicari said. "And he's literate. This was just an accident. It's every principal's fear."
So very proud to be an American.
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