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From: Jennifer Godwin <>
Subject: What Ann LANDERS originally said...
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 00:48:58 -0700 (PDT)

What Ann Landers originally said is available at:

"Teachers should avoid family tree assignments" Ann Landers, April 5, 1998

Dear Ann Landers,

My husband and I adopted our children from Korea when they were infants.
We love them just
as much as if they were born of my body, and I see no reason to remind
them otherwise. My
concern is about some educators.

My daughter has been assigned the task of assembling a family tree for one
of her classes.
Although she knows she is adopted, she considers her lineage to be the
same as ours and is quite
excited about doing the project. It occurred to me, however, that other
children might not be so

I'm concerned about children in our schools who are in foster care. Some
of them don't know
anything about their backgrounds. Many have single mothers or come from
blended families or
broken homes. These children could be embarassed by a teacher who asks for
information. Please urge our educators to be more sensitive to the fact
that not all children can
handle an assignment like that.

Signed, Louisville Mom

Dear Louisville Mom,

I'm glad you wrote. Your letter gives me an opportunity to speak out about
family trees, lineage
and other topics that should have no place on our school.

It is nobody's business whether a child's family come over on a slave ship
or the Mayflower.
Teachers should not be asking about family background. If I had to draw a
family tree, it would
be a shrub. My parents and grandparents immigrated from Russia, and beyond
that, I don't have
a clue to my lineage, and I have never given it a moment's thought.

Ann Landers

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