Parents left fuming after pupils are tasked with writing their own suicide notes

By Nombulelo Manyana
26 June 2017

"In what universe was it ever, under any situation, a good idea to ask a group of teenagers to write suicide notes?" one mom said.

High school learners from the Thomas Tallis School in Blackheath, South London, were told to write suicide notes as part of an assignment.

They were asked to write a farewell letter to their loved ones in an English class after studying Shakespeare's Macbeth.

In one of the play's most celebrated scenes, Lady Macbeth kills herself, unable to live with the guilt of the murder of King Duncan any longer. This suicide was supposedly the inspiration for the exercise.

Furious parents said the assignment was "disgusting" and insensitive. One schoolgirl, who had friends who had committed suicide, was left very distraught by the task.

The girl’s mother, who did not want to be named, told Daily Mail that her daughter had lost three friends after they killed themselves and that her daughter was "very distressed" after being asked to write the suicide note.

She said that she confronted the school as soon as her daughter told her about the assignment.

"At least two classes have done this assignment. My daughter is very outspoken but there are other kids not as vocal who might be suffering from depression.

"My daughter has had personal experience with people her age committing suicide."

She also told News Shopper that although she is open to the school addressing suicide, this was not the way to do it.

"On what universe was it ever, under any situation, a good idea to ask a group of teenagers to write suicide notes? I support them addressing suicide but it should be in a supportive environment.”

Another parent, who also wanted to remain anonymous, told Daily Mail: "Whoever came up with this needs to go back to teacher training college."

The school has since apologised to parents and headteacher Carolyn Roberts said action had been taken to make sure that similar class projects would not take place again.

"We appreciate that the exercise was upsetting to the family and have discussed the subject matter and approach with teaching staff.

"I met with the parent last week and apologised wholeheartedly on behalf of the school and reassured them about the actions that have been taken."

Sources: Daily Mail. Metro UK. News Shopper. The Sun

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