By Jeffrey Kao ‘19
Mr. Frederick L. Hardeaux, instructor in Biology, has Reportedly been relieved of his teaching and coaching duties and dismissed by the school. Nineteen of his students reportedly went to the administration to complain about the amount of homework they received this past Monday. Mr. H. apparently made an egregious error by accidentally posting the assigned problem sets at 3:04 pm, so naturally he acknowledged his mistake and, as an act of mercy, gave three chapters of readings for Monday night instead. When these students confronted him about the matter, Mr. H. replied, “You guys don’t have to do the reading, but it will all be on the test anyway, so it’s your call.”
The average time spent on that night’s reading totalled 46 minutes and 12 seconds, which is an entire 1 minute and 12 seconds more than the 45 minute limit for homework each night. As such, the administration felt it necessary to terminate Mr. H’s contract immediately and release him. Upon request, the Head of School’s office released an official statement: “Mr H’s behavior in handing out excessive quantities of homework is absolutely intolerable. While the Blue Book clearly states that classes may have more than 45 minutes of homework per night as long as one course does not consume more than 9 hours of a student’s week, our faculty is dedicated to prioritizing our students’ well being and therefore will not tolerate any actions which would exceed the socially constructed and artificial expectations for a given class. We always put our students first and as such, it was necessary to put an end to these sorts of damaging actions.”
The faculty has been helplessly divided over the issue. Some have stood with Mr. H, enraged at the absurd ineptness of the students to read a weekend’s worth of homework in one night. Many were quite confused, as they were under the impression that the average Andover student could complete a 50 page single spaced 11 point font article on the Transatlantic slave trade in just about an hour. Others, however, have sided with the enraged students. One teacher, who shall remain anonymous, said that even 45 minutes was too much. He commented, “if Andover is dedicated to the Growth Mindset, then it’s appropriate to start where the students are comfortable. If that means 30 minutes of homework, so be it. If it means 15 minutes, no homework, even no class, then those are the measures that need to be taken to ensure that our students are in the best position to succeed”. When asked if this would mean that students are paying tens of thousands of dollars not to learn anything, the anonymous teacher replied, “Students are paying tens of thousands of dollars not to learn anything, yet”.