furore over "suicide essay"

A collège teacher in the Charente has been suspended after asking troisième students to imagine they planned to commit suicide and asking them to write an essay saying why they wanted to end their lives, describing their self-disgust and the events in their lives which had lead to it.

Some of the pupils' parents immediately contacted the school principal and the regional l'inspection académique complaining that this was an inappropriate task for 13-14 year olds.
The essay asked children to imagine they were eighteen, had decided to end their life and to explain their decision by writing a self-portrait:
Vous venez d'avoir 18 ans. Vous avez décidé d'en finir avec la vie. Votre décision semble irrévocable. Vous décidez dans un dernier élan de livrer les raisons de votre geste. En dressant votre autoportrait, vous décrivez tout le dégoût que vous avez de vous-même. Votre texte retracera quelques événements de votre vie à l'origine de ce sentiment".
However, the school parents' association is now asking for the teacher to be reinstated and have praised his qualities as a teacher.

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