Dear members of the school board:
My name is ******* ***, and I am a member of the Anime Club. At this moment, I am sure that you are scratching your head. You don't know what club I'm talking about, do you? The club I am referring to, dear friends, is the one which you denied a club status earlier this week. We are the group you rejected. We are nonexistent in your eyes. To you, we are nothing.
Because you do not know about us, I shall have to explain what has happened up until today, and I will have to do it here.
Just before the Christmas holidays, I joyfully walked to the meeting room of the Anime Club with my friends, only to be told that we were no longer allowed to meet there. My friends and I went to the office, where you told us that we could not be a club without a teacher advisor. You suggested that we ask one of the art teachers to facilitate us.
We did as you told us, and went directly to the art department. As we had already spoken to two of the three teachers, we approached the only one left--Mr Shipman. When we found him, I explained our predicament; how we couldn't meet without a teacher to oversee us, and how the office had recommended that we speak to an art teacher. He didn't even allow me to finish speaking. He laughed uproariously, and then said the following (paraphrased): "No way. I don't like anime; it's the stupidest thing ever, and the worst thing an art student can get into. It's a waste of time." With due respect to Mr Shipman, I think that his reaction was cruel and hurtful. Without foundation, he called something that we dearly love stupid. He is entitled to his opinion, but he never even attempted to give a reasonable and coherent explanation for it.
Obviously, Mr Shipman was uninterested in our group, and we could do nothing to change his mind. We left, and proceeded to contact another teacher, Mr Bear.
Mr Bear agreed to let us use his room to meet. However, he told us that he would not officially be our teacher advisor, because he had no interest in anime. We accepted this, and the Thursday of the second week after the Christmas break, we met there for the first time. It was a wonderful and positive environment--A chance for people with a shared passion to meet each other, and express their feelings to people who would understand them. There was never a second meeting.
Because many of us were not free on Thursday, we decided to reschedule to Friday. On Friday, I was told by our president that we were not allowed to meet as a club anymore. From what I have been told, I gather that the school will not let us meet without an official advisor, and will not allow us to have one until we can bring in notes from the teachers in the art department, saying that they refused to take us in.
Naturally, we still meet. I will not tell you where, because you would likely try to stop us. We are a group of friends, and we feel just as strongly about manga and anime hiding in the corners of the school as we would as an official group, but we still want to be recognized as a group, and given a meeting place.
While we may do exactly the same things we would do as a club, independently, until you give us status, we are not a club. We can never work with the school to organize trips; we cannot recruit new members by posting signs; we cannot be recognized as more then nerds who are not even deserving of a table in the cafeteria. I believe this to be unjust.
By telling us that we must have a teacher advisor, you insinuate that we are not capable of taking care of ourselves. However, you expect us to work out our problems with the art department, and it's teachers, on our own. This is an contradiction, and a double message, because if you do not believe us to be old enough to work independently, we should not have to bring notes from the people who scorned us.
As our superiors, you have the right to deny us the right to be a club. But as human beings, I am asking you to respect us, and acknowledge the love we feel for anime. I am not asking you to love anime. I know that if you dislike it, nothing I say can make you see differently. I don't care what you think about our unofficial club; but you don't have to see eye to eye with me, I am simply requesting that you either give us an advisor, or allow us to meet without one.
We may not be as important as Colour Outside the Lines, or Students Bridging Boarders, but we are still people with a common love. You would never have dreamed of denying a human rights club--like those listed above--a meeting place and a status. In your eyes, we are undoubtedly just a bunch of pathetic teenagers with no ambition; perhaps you are correct, and what we love is as unimportant as most of the world would say it is, but it is still WHAT WE LOVE. We are not Neo Nazi's: we are not hurting anyone, or insulting their ideals; we just want to meet, and be official in your eyes.
I am a member of the Anime Club, and I am acting alone. I cannot speak for the others in this letter, but I hope that you will reconsider your position and give us a fair chance. If you wish to speak to me, you may page me over the intercom, and we will sit down and speak as equals.