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British school apologizes for "suicide note" assignment

  • Author: Amy Silverstein
  • Updated: September 29, 2016
  • Published June 21, 2012

The Stokes Discovery Academy had an unusual idea for a creative writing assignment. The school told students to write as if they had terminal illnesses and had only hours left to live, The Daily Telegraph reported. A spokesperson told the Telegraph the the assignment was part of an "expressive art" lesson. The teachers even viewed the letter of one boy, 14-year-old Wesley Walker, and approved of his assignment enough to let him take it home. But when Wesley handed the letter to his mother without explanation, she was not pleased.

"I am writing this letter to say goodbye and thank you for giving me life and don't cry I don't want you to be sad I want you to remember the fun times and the happy times," the letter says. He assures his mother that he is "with Nan and Grandad now," and writes that his father can have his Xbox.

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After handing the letter to his confused mother, Wesley went upstairs and immediately went to bed. "I really felt like I was going to find him hanging from his bed and maybe he felt he couldn't take any more," Vicki Walker told BBC News. "I spoke to him and he said it was something they were asked to do at school, I felt it to be really sick."

The school has apologized for causing "distress," the BBC reported.

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