U.K. Schools Teach Pupils How To Write Suicide Notes

Longton mother Vicki Walker sickened by son’s school ‘suicide note’ class project

A SCHOOL has apologised after a pupil wrote a letter in a creative arts class which his mother believed was a suicide note.

Wesley Walker, aged 14, composed the letter during a lesson at the Discovery Academy, which has sites in Bucknall and Longton.

Pupils were asked to complete a piece of writing imagining they had only hours to live.

The school says it will review its communication with parents after his mum Vicki branded the exercise ‘sick’.

The hand-written note said: “I want you to remember the fun times and the happy times, at my funeral make everyone wear bright colours to remember my personality.

“I know I have been a pain at the best of times but I’m with nan and grandad now so I love you and goodbye.”

Mrs Walker, from Longton, said her son gave her the letter just before heading off to bed.

She said: “I really felt like I was going to find him hanging and maybe he felt he couldn’t take any more.

“I spoke to him and he said it was something they were asked to do at school. I felt that it is really sick.

“I just don’t think schools should be asking children to write things like this especially when it could be seen as a suicide note. I don’t agree with it.”

The letter makes reference to Wesley’s funeral and he ends the letter by saying ‘please be strong for me’ and signs off with six kisses and a heart.

The school’s headteacher Rob Ridout said in the exercise, the students were asked to imagine what they would say if they only had a short time left to live.

He said many pupils and their families found it an ‘encouraging and positive experience.’

He added: “The Discovery Academy wishes to apologise for the distress the parents and family have experienced.

“The purpose of the lesson was to enable young people to explore their feelings and emotions and celebrate the many good things with their loved ones that are usually left unsaid.

“Many students and parents found the exercise valuable, however we will review how we communicate to parents in the future.”

Mr Ridout said a meeting with Wesley’s parents had been arranged.

Source: ThisIsStaffordshire.co.uk


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