NYC Private School Teacher Has Students Write Suicide Notes
Apparently the students were supposed to write the suicide note from “The Secret Life of Bees” character’s persepctive, but in first-person…
According to NY Post:
Young teens at a pricey Upper West Side private school were asked to write first-person suicide notes — a macabre assignment that some of their parents have blasted as “inappropriate.” The English-class homework at York Prep required students as young as 14 to write goodbye missives from the perspective of a character who offs herself in “The Secret Life of Bees,” a best-selling book and film.
The task included justifying why they had committed suicide, a grim process that rattled a few nerves. “We were pretty stunned at the scope of the assignment,” said a father of a ninth-grade student at the school. “We thought this was such an outrageous assignment for a 14-year-old to get,” he added. “We pay a lot of money to send our kids to the school.”
Tuition for high schoolers at the grade 6-to-12 institution on West 68th Street is slated to be $41,200 for the coming school year.
Newbie English teacher Jessica Barrish’s assignment last month (above) focused on having kids channel fictitious character May Boatwright by writing in first person — as if they were her — about her legacy and how they wanted to be remembered by her sisters.
“How would you justify ending your life? What reasons would you give?” the project asked.
Barrish, who previously taught for three years in the public schools, declined to comment. Simon Critchley — a philosophy professor at The New School university in Greenwich Village who recently taught a suicide note-writing workshop for adults — said he believed the concerns, even for young teens, were overblown.
“I don’t see why this is inappropriate at all. If it is, then suicide is a taboo, and I simply think we have to think rationally about our taboos,” he said.
“I think it might even help students acquire a more mature and reflective approach to a hugely important topic.”
Really though?? Workshops for suicide notes?? What is the world coming to???