|Back to Feb. Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 169||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||FEBRUARY 2000|
Examples of Outrageous Classroom Assignments|
In December, we began a series on outrageous classroom assignments that are routinely being given to schoolchildren. Following is our example for February.
A high school English teacher in Pocola, Oklahoma, asked her students to write a poem about a hypothetical school shooting. She instructed the students to imagine the shooting and then write poems from different points of view. One of her students, a 16-year-old boy, wrote a four-line poem from the viewpoint of the shooter. He was subsequently threatened with suspension and jail.
His mother was apalled at the assignment and has lodged a complaint with the Pocola Board of Education. She told the Tulsa World newspaper (12-16-99) that she had always told her children "to do what the teachers ask you to do." She admitted regretting that statement. "Why would we have an assignment to put this [idea] in someone's head?" she asked.
The high school is investigating the assignment. Principal Steve McGinnis promised in the Tulsa World article that, "There will be an end to it."