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Teacher Disciplined For Unusual Creative Writing Assignment

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WMUR: An English teacher is being closely monitored at Kingswood Regional High School after administrators said she assigned an inappropriate essay topic to her students.

Jack Robertson, superintendent of the Governor Wentworth Regional School District, said the teacher asked students to respond to the question: "If you knocked your brother down, would you urinate in his mouth?"

The question was posed as part of creative writing assignment to a class of about 12 or 13 seniors. Robertson said the question was designed to help motivate students to improve their writing, but he said the teacher lacked good judgment in assigning the question.

Administrators found out about the question after a student approached another teacher for help with the assignment. That teacher told the school principal about it. School officials said the assignment didn't have to do with a book the students were reading. The district said she's a good teacher with a track record of motivating her students.

"While on the one hand, I appreciate her interest in trying to get kids to write, there are other topics and there are more appropriate prompts that could create that same kind of interest," Robertson said.

The question had some parents and residents asking what made the teacher think posing the question was appropriate. Resident Lucille Cloutier said her granddaughter attends the high school.

"I think there's some people who feel they can do anything they want to do and say anything they want to say, whether they're teaching young minds or whether they're not," she said.

Robertson said that given the teacher's good record, he never expected something like this to happen.

The district said a supervisor is now monitoring the teacher's assignments. Officials said the hope is that she continues to motivate her students in more appropriate ways.

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7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Rachelle September 22, 2009, 9:05 AM

This is just disgusting. I would demand (at the least), the teacher be suspended, and I would definitely pull my child from her class!

Anonymous September 22, 2009, 9:08 AM

That is not only horrendously inappropriate, but also pretty dumb. How could you make a paper out of that? “No, I would not knock down my brother. Even if we did get into a fight, I would not for any reason urinate on him in any way, especially into his mouth, as that is disgusting and humiliating for both of us. The end.” And that’s the LONG version of how I would answer that! I think the teacher’s just a perv and wanted to read…er, I mean, GRADE…papers about this. Oh, and see which kids in her class are sick enough to do it.

JaneMyLife September 22, 2009, 9:10 AM

I don’t think the topic was appropriate, but with all of the monitoring and bad publicity I should imagine the teacher has learn’t her lesson by now.

Phil E. Drifter September 22, 2009, 9:35 AM


Can’t have anyone thinking on their own now, can we?

Nothing wrong with what the teacher did. Sure it was unusual, that doesn’t mean anything.

The teacher didn’t ask the students to knock each other over and urinate in their mouths; he asked a question that would provoke a response.

Our soldiers do far worse to the enemy on the battlefield.

anti phil September 22, 2009, 9:48 AM

@Phil: Why would you bring soldiers into this? have you ever been a soldier? I believe that most soldiers would not urinate on someone on the battlefield. there is a level of respect for your “enemy” that im sure you would never understand.
and to the topic at hand.. if left alone im sure that most students would come up with some very compelling stories about how to treat your fellow man. granted the teacher used an extreme example (should have just said “would you punch him while hes down”) but she did get the point across..

Nope September 22, 2009, 8:46 PM

What the hell are all you people on about. First of all, its seniors. This means these kids are 17-18 years old. Secondly, its a creative writing class. You don’t write a stupid answer to it, you write a small story.
The teacher was trying to keep things light and funny in a way, nothing was done poorly. If you really would pull your children out of this class, then are you going to shelter them from their whole life?

Ajac October 22, 2009, 4:42 PM

Home schooling looks so good nowadays!

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