Teacher suspended over suicide essays

2012-12-10 22:20

Bordeaux - A French teacher who has been accused of asking her students to write an essay in which they imagined themselves as a suicidal teenager has been suspended pending an investigation, education officials said on Monday.

The teacher, who works at the Montmoreau-Saint-Cybard secondary school in the Charente region of western France, will discover next week if she is to face disciplinary action following an outcry among parents over a composition she reportedly set for her class of 13- and 14-year-olds.

According to local newspaper La Charente Libre, the teacher reportedly asked the pupils to imagine themselves as an 18-year-old who had taken an irrevocable decision to end his or her life.

"You decided at the last minute to explain your reasons," she was quoted as instructing them. "Drawing a self-portrait, you will describe your self-disgust. Your text will go over the events in your life that created this feeling."

The teacher was suspended following an anonymous letter from parents which asked: "What will be the next subject - how do you feel when you shoot up?"

Jean-Marie Renault, the academic director of the Charente region, confirmed the teacher had been suspended and would be asked to explain what she was trying to do.

"If it is true that the question of suicide was posed in the terms reported, one could only be surprised, to say the least," he told AFP.

A pupil in the class said the incident had been blown out of proportion.

Contacted by AFP, she said the teacher had simply asked the students to "imagine that we did not feel well".

  • wesley.fick - 2012-12-10 22:40

    Another mountain out of a molehill made by a parent acting rather hysterically to what I think is a good topic - how does one think being suicidal feels? Going through an exercise like this allows the kids to realise how devastating it is and what signs to look out for and how to deal with it.

      Maverick82 - 2012-12-10 23:29

      I agree. One also never knows what a child is going through in life and maybe reading some of the student comments you will be able to find a student that needs some love and support. A life could be saved.

      Bob.Cee123 - 2012-12-11 07:10

      Exactly. This out of the box approach may actually help kids develop their empathy and think twice before bullying and harassing fellow pupils.

  • ndz.ngobeni - 2012-12-11 01:05


  • Khanyile Busokwakhe - 2012-12-11 04:04

    one must understand that we as parents do'nt talk about things like this with our children we don't let them to tell us about how do they feel,but the reality is young children do commit suicide as well as they do sex but we don't want to warn them about its outcome the teacher was doing a good job

  • siliziwem - 2012-12-11 05:08

    So Shakespear love poems are ok?

  • siliziwem - 2012-12-11 05:08

    So Shakespear love poems are ok?

  • kgobi.linah - 2012-12-11 06:00

    Teacher suspended over suicide assays

  • charmaine.mcdonald2 - 2012-12-11 08:07

    This is a very good topic, it gives us an insight as to what these children feel and how they express themselves with regards to suicide. some very nice comments.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-12-11 08:18

    As Einstein once said, imagination is more important than intelligence.

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