Teacher sets a delicate assignment for his pupils: he is fired
April 29, 2023
Attending school is a critical period for the growth and emotional development of children. In particular, when they are teenagers, it becomes essential to teach them the most appropriate values and morals to lead a healthy, balanced life. Naturally, parents are the most responsible for performing this difficult task, but they are not the only ones: school teachers also act as educators and teach much more than just dry facts.
The teacher in this story had been trying to teach a difficult, delicate lesson to his pupils but this was not appreciated by parents and the school board.
Jeffrey Keene, 63, is a Florida teacher - or rather, he was. Jeffrey, whose pupils were children between 16 and 18 years of age, found himself opening an unpleasant letter stating that he had violated state statutes. In essence, the letter called on him to resign due to what he had tried to teach his students. So, what was this violation?
Jeffrey wanted to give his pupils a realistic scenario and asked his pupils to reflect upon it and describe their feelings about the hypothetical situation.
Jeffrey's intentions were undoubtedly noble, but let's see what task Jeffrey assigned his pupils:
"Imagine: today, there is an emergency at the school. Someone has entered the school with a weapon and is intent on harming or even killing students".
"This person has targeted you and today will be your last day of life. Write your obituary."
"Additional things to reflect upon: What do you think about the high frequency of mass shootings in the United States? What possible actions can be taken to remedy this? How do you think being more or less directly linked and involved in a scenario like this could influence the your opinions?" These are the salient points of the controversial task that Jeffrey assigned his teenage students.
Government of Prince Edward Island/Flickr - Not the actual photo
Some students were not at all happy with this assignment and complained to their parents and school authorities.
Jeffrey was later "invited" to resign from his position without going through an outright dismissal, but he refused: "I haven't done anything wrong and if I did, tell me what I did wrong, I asked the school board. They replied that 'they couldn't'. Since I don't know what I did that was wrong, I told them to go ahead and fire me without just cause."
"If you can't communicate with your students, then what's the point of having teachers?! In my mind, I know I acted for the good of my pupils," Jeffrey added. What do you think of this controversial story?