Florida teacher fired after having kids write their own obituaries before active shooter drill

Originally published at: Florida teacher fired after having kids write their own obituaries before active shooter drill | Boing Boing


I think a better assignment would be to have the parents write the kids’ obituaries everyday before the kids go to school.


You know…because talking about it means that there is recognition of a serious problem that school districts would rather ignore until it’s too late. :man_shrugging:


From the way things usually go, I was expecting third grade or so.

11th or 12th? That’s almost voting age, the teacher was smart.


I did this in college for a narrative writing class, thought it kind of fun at the time. The timeline wasn’t imminent, I think we did it with the supposition we were doing it after a long and fruitful life.


After every shooting, have all the relevant politicians at the state and district level write the obituaries of one or more victims. No canned responses; they would have to talk to the parents, siblings, and friends of the victims and write an essay giving a picture of the young life that was lost, to be read into the government records.

Not saying this would change many politicians’ minds, but it might serve to inform people of the character of some of their elected representatives.

So not “if I get shot after lunch”? This sounds like a great way to fuel the anxiety and depression felt by so many teenagers today.


Been a while since kids just wrote about it instead of doing it. This is an improvement.


Yah this is a common creative writing exercise and I think I get what the teacher was going for, but probably not okay for American teenagers nowadays.

Whole generations of kids there must be growing up with PTSD. :worried: I struggle to wrap my head around a society that has children doing “active shooter drills”. What a dark place it must be. :pensive:


So getting kids to act out the possibility of being murdered in school is official policy, but writing about it is over the line somehow?


Shhh if you don’t talk about things then they aren’t real!!!


My thought exactly. Maybe some kids would like to do this voluntarily and send them to their representatives.


We should have written that into the gun control ballot measure we passed here in Oregon, requiring every legislator who votes against it to do so or else their vote doesn’t count; and any judge who tries to overthrow it do the same or the overturning becomes invalid.


Didn’t read the article, but with this firing happening in Florida, I’m going to guess that the teacher was fired not because the assignment is generally inappropriate/traumatic for older teens, but because someone feared it might influence these students to seriously think about voting for candidates who favor gun regulation.


This seems to me not unlike the arguments to ban “CRT”. They don’t want the kids to feel bad in both cases. The repubs are a bunch of snowflakes. And chickens.


chickens GIF


Well, certain kids, in the one case.
Probly both cases.

Honestly, given the current reality, this seems like a really good exercise for 11th and 12th graders. They’re having to live this reality in context every day. IMHO, It seems more cruel to pretend this isn’t life or death.


I bet the folks that fired the teacher also complain about the lack of education about “real world skills”.


I think it’s impolite to say so; but drilling people on how you want them to respond to the immediate implications of the status quo while doing what you can to discourage thinking about it in context seems more the norm than the exception when it comes to official policy.

Firing a teacher for making the curriculum too engaging and relevant is, of course, a bit on the nose.


Very much this. The choice of exercise when he chose to do it was too much. Kids have enough anxiety about dying at school. It isn’t the kids’ minds that need to be changed. The children are helpless and making them do something to emphasize just how helpless they are was very cruel


This is very common in Psych classes. Write your obituary from the perspective of yourself after a long life. It helps to visualize your future objectives and self.
Writing your obituary as of today, well, that certainty has value as a retrospective but is morbid given the context of what was going on that day in school and probably inappropriate for 11-12 graders given their limited retrospective scope. Maybe worthy of a conversation with the teacher about appropriateness, but not a firing offense.