Teacher in France is suspended for asking class to write suicide notes for homework
The unnamed teacher told the 13 to 14 year olds to ‘describe the disgust’ they had for temselves
A teacher has been suspended after asking a class full of teenagers to write suicide notes.
The man, who has not been named, is a French teacher at the Antoine-Delafont school in Montmoreau-Saint-Cybard, near Angouleme, France.
He told the 13 to 14 year olds to imagine what they would say to themselves if they were about to end their lives out of ‘disgust’ for their lives.
‘Describe your disgust at yourself’: The man, who has not been named, is a French teacher at the Antoine-Delafont school (pictured) in Montmoreau-Saint-Cybard, near Angouleme, France
The assignment, set in October, read : ‘You’ve just turned 18. You’ve decided to end your life. Your decision is definitive.
‘In a final surge you decide to put in words the reason behind your decision. In the style of a self-portrait, you describe the disgust you have for yourself. Your text will retrace certain events in your life at the origin of these feelings.’
TEEN SUICIDE: A GROWING PROBLEM
Teen suicides are becoming a growing problem, made worse by the proliferation of social media and mobile technology, experts say.
A recent study by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in America, found that one in 12 US teens have tried to kill themselves at least once.
On a larger scale, suicides made up 13 per cent of all deaths among US youths ages 10 to 24 last year, according to the study.
Neuropsychologist Hector Adames said the rise of communication through technology is a major reason why suicide rates are on the rise.
‘What happens with an increase in communication among students is that there’s more pressure. There’s more bullying.’
‘When adolescents and children feel embarrassed, it’s kind of like the end of the world for them.’
Jean-Marie Renault, the school head, confirmed that the teacher had now been ‘officially notified’ of his suspension, following complaints from parents.
‘It was suggested that a student was on the point of putting an end to his life and describing it,’ said Mr Renault. ‘This appears quite disturbing’.
He said the teacher had confessed to feeling ‘confused’ when he set the writing exercise, and later regretted it.
Mr Renault added that the teacher was a ‘decent person’ who was popular with staff and students.
But one unnamed parent said : ‘We are appalled that subjects like this can be offered to children between thirteen and fourteen years of age.’
His explanations will tell if this is a ‘professional misconduct’ or a ‘big blunder,’ said the director of the academy.
Genevieve Fioraso, France’s education minister, said the subject of suicide is ‘dangerous’ when examined ‘out of context’.
Child psychologists have regularly pointed to the dangers of mixing teenage angst with thoughts of suicide.