Upper West Side Teacher Has Teens Write Suicide Notes for Homework

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Caucasian teenager studying in classroomPhoto: Mike Kemp/Blend Images/©Mike Kemp/Blend Images LLC

The latest school assignment infuriating New York parents comes from Jessica Barrish, a new English teacher at York Prep, who had students as young as 14 write suicide notes from the perspective of a character in The Secret Life of Bees last month. According to the Post, the homework assignment asked, “How would you justify ending your life? What reasons would you give?” As with the slavery word problems assignment at another Manhattan school earlier this year, what's incredible is that the teacher didn't think the edgy topic would be an issue, even though other teachers have gotten in trouble for the same thing. Suicide note assignments sparked controversy in Britain and France within the last year, so the whole situation could have been avoided with a Google alert for "offensive homework."