Scott Eric Kaufman has been hurting his students with his words:
"Every day I wanted to discuss with you about the way you grade my papers and the way you teach the class, but I could not because the things you say in class and your words disturb me so much I can not. You make me completely uncomfortable with the little things you say in the class like how you talk about television or how you talk about when you are grading our papers and trying to be fair. You do not seem to care about our grades only that they are up to your too high standards and I can not talk to you because you make me completely uncomfortable. For example, you say you will talk to us about our grades but you really will not because of how uncomfortable you make me feel with your words and what you say.
I will plan to contest the grade you have given me in this class when I get it because I know it will be much higher with any other teacher. I am a very religious man and you are not a bad person but you do not choose your words with enough care like a teacher should. You try to be objective and the very attempt becomes your flaw because you try so hard to grade fairly and comment wisely that you become biased to your own ideas. You criticize our writings because we are college students and young but do not realize that you offend most of us when you do this. I am always offended when I go to your class and have been on many occasions but I never tell you of my offense because you make me completely uncomfortable so I never say a word. (...)
After this quarter I am hurt and tired and feel like talking to you now will do me no good. I wanted to go to your office hours but I could not find the time or make myself because of your words. I feel like my paper was written to the best of my ability in reference to your teaching skills in the discussions. You grade my papers poorly but do not realize that you do so because they reflect your teaching skills. Other people may have done well with your skills but I did not and would have talked to you but what you said about grading fairly made me uncomfortable. I take my responsibilities as a man and I have never complained about my grades but this one I will because I did not need you to teach me how to read or to write. I have made very high grades in all my other writing classes and even though I had many disputes with those instructors we always settled them to my happiness. Now for the first time I can not talk to you to settle my grades because I am uncomfortable to talk or even write to you."
And then, at the end, the kicker:
"I will forward this letter to the head of your department so he can see that I am a serious student who does not deserve the grade you will give him because I write so very well."
To coin a cliché: Sadly, No. -- In comments, Scott Eric Kaufman, who got the original complaint (which he says he redacted slightly), says that the student is "a native speaker of the upper-class, Wonder Bread variety." I thought so when I read it: in my experience, students for whom English is a second language tend to write quite well, unless they have only very recently arrived in this country. It's the students who don't seem to have mastered their first language who are the problem, not the students who have mastered more than one.
My first job was at a very good liberal arts college with a strong teaching tradition. During my first year there, I was asked to come to a meeting of students and faculty about how to foster more student-faculty interaction. This surprised me a bit: there was already lots of student-faculty interaction, and I couldn't see why we needed to brainstorm about how to make more. It was sort of like having a meeting about how to deal with the problem of inadequate moisture at the bottom of the ocean. Still, I dutifully showed up, and dutifully listened as one after another person bemoaned our failure to have more interaction between students and faculty. (It was part of the ethos of this college that there was always a need to do more to foster student-faculty interaction.)
The moment when this meeting went truly surreal was when one student said: I know all the faculty members have office hours, and are willing to meet with us at other times, and all, but even when they seem really encouraging and open, sometimes we don't feel comfortable enough to make appointments with them. What would really help is if we saw them at college sports events, so we could start talking to them then; that's a much more comfortable setting for us. -- And everyone there said: Oooooh, good point! Sports events! What a great idea!
I, meanwhile, thought: wait a minute. I have office hours. I try to be approachable. I encourage my students to come and talk to me. I have long arguments with them over lunch, in public campus places where other students can come over and join in. I really like students, and I think this comes across. But this isn't enough. No: I am supposed to hang out at e.g. college wrestling matches, on the off chance that some student who has not felt comfortable coming to my office hours will be at that very same wrestling match, and will for the very first time feel able to come over and talk to me.
I mean: that's just crazy. And it's crazy in the same way as a student blaming a teacher for the fact that "what you said about grading fairly made me uncomfortable"-- so uncomfortable that he was unable to talk about it all semester.
Mercifully, my students tend to be completely decent, and not given to this sort of thing at all: a fact for which I daily give thanks.