A UK school has been forced to apologize after a group of GCSE pupils were asked to write a mock suicide note as part of an English writing exercise.
One “shocked” parent complained after students at Cheney School in Headington, Oxford, were set the task as part of studying J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls.
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In a statement, the school said it was “very sorry for any distress caused”.
RT reports: Pupils aged 15 and 16 studying for their GCSE qualifications at Cheney School in Headington, Oxford, were set the assignment as part of studying the classic English play ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestley. The writing exercise was delivered on ‘World Suicide Day.’
One mother, who asked not to be named, told BBC News that the project was a “massive fail,” revealing that she had been left feeling “genuinely shocked,” after her child informed her about the distressing task.
“The actual assignment was ‘Imagine you are a young woman in 1912 writing a suicide letter to those who care about you.“
The parent, who reportedly has a relative who attempted suicide, wrote a letter to the school’s Head of English, adding that there had been “no warning, no support, no encouragement.”
The school has since apologized “for any distress caused” and insisted that the exercise was “delivered sensitively,” claiming that the writing task had been reviewed and “adjusted accordingly.”
It’s not the first time the play in question has been embroiled in the same controversy. In 2015, pupils aged 14 and 15 at Beauchamps High School in Wickford, Essex, were also asked to pen a suicide letter for their English homework.