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Teachers’ creative writing assignment; students write suicide letters

No parent wants to discover their child’s suicide note; to do so would be a total nightmare. Imagine if the parent found the note only to discover it was a school creative writing assignment. Jessica Barrish, an English teacher at a New York City private school asked her student to write a suicide note based on the novel, “The Secret Live of Bees.”

The New York Post broke the news on June 12. The student in Ms. Barrish’s class were as young as 14- years-old. The task was set to have the student justify why they had committed suicide. “We were pretty stunned at the scope of the assignment,” a father of a ninth-grade student spoke. “We thought this was such an outrageous assignment for a 12-year-old to get,” he continued.

Barrish said the point of the assignment was to have the writers channel the fictitious character May Boatwright by writing in a first person point of view. “How would you justify ending your life? What reason would you give?” the project asked.

Do you think the teacher was wrong for this assignment?

What would you do if your child brought home an assignment like this?

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