Suicide Notes Assigned in Middle School
This Week’s Sign the Apocalypse is Upon Us
By Rebekah Maxwell
Remember those middle school years? Right in the midst of “finding yourself.” Those were the days. Remember how difficult it was to fit in, how (as your crush walks right by your anxious self to ask Brandy B. Popular to the dance instead) you thought “nobody cares about me…my life is over!”
You know what would really help broaden the sensitive, muddled-up, middle-school mind?
To make all of them write their own suicide notes.
A teacher in France was suspended for requiring a class of 13-year-olds to compose and turn in their own suicide notes. Here’s the assignment, according to The Telegraph:
“You’ve just turned 18 and have decided to end your life. Your decision appears irrevocable. As a final effort, you decide to explain the reasons for your act. In setting out your self-portrait, you describe all the disgust you feel for yourself. Your text must bring up certain events in your life at the root of this feeling.”
“A group of shocked parents wrote an anonymous note to the headmaster and local school authority, saying: “We are horrified that this type of topic should be proposed to children between 13 and 14 years old.”
“One parent, Béatrice Goupilleau, told the local newspaper, that her son was embarrassed to let her see his suicide note and the teacher’s comment, which read: “Not precise enough.”
Now, initial outrage over this assignment has given way to defense of the teacher who assigned it. Many parents are saying the subject was “well-presented” by the teacher, and the students were “not shocked” by the assignment.
One mother said: “What do you think they talk about in the playground? The images they see on TV are far more shocking.”
“Suicide is part of daily life. Perhaps the teacher wished to raise their awareness of the issue,” said another.
‘Suicide is a part of daily life.’ Sadly, that’s true. For instance, in that teacher’s district, two students have committed suicide in the last month.
I can think of no better way to raise awareness about this tragedy and to encourage young people to value the promise of their future lives than to force them to write a detailed suicide note.
No better way to broaden the mind of a traumatized adolescent, for whom violence and killing is a “part of daily life,” than to make them boil all their angst and depression into one detailed, desperate, gasp of self-centered self-loathing.
Perhaps this teacher thought he was simply preparing his students for this moribund culture we’ve created. In a sense, he’s probably right. As a bunch of random cosmic accidents walking upright (with no inherent worth or value), there are two things we really need to solve our problems: 1) Fewer of us…survival of the fittest, you know, and 2) more creative ways to say, “Goodbye, cruel world.”