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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

High school students asked to condemn people to hell for assignment

To the Editor:

I am writing to encourage parents to get involved with their children’s school curriculum and in-school assignments. Recently, my son came home feeling uncomfortable about an assignment that he knew didn’t feel morally just. After reading Dante’s Inferno, the students were then given the task to come up with their own version of hell, and then to assign nine people (famous, politicians, or even someone in your own life) to be condemned to their created hell.

The most disturbing is that they were then asked to describe in detail the punishments that fit the behavior of those who were being sent to their hell. In the state of our society today, with school shootings running rampant and with the triple homicide that recently just happened by teenage boys in the Ocklawaha area, I am as equally shocked as I am disgusted that a teacher would ask students to sit at home and create torturous punishments for people that they deem fit for hell.

First of all, as a Christian, as I have taught my son, it is not our place to cast judgment upon anyone. Secondly, it is abhorrent to think that after that judgment, a teacher would have the audacity to ask the mind of a teenage child to then produce a suitable torment for that judged person to receive.

My son wrote a paper citing his religious beliefs in refusal to cast judgment (complete with Bible verses and chapters), stuck to the prompt, and picked nine people from the Bible directly that were condemned to hell by our Creator. When he went to give the presentation, the teacher stopped him after the first page and told him to “move on with it.” He was not permitted to recite the rest of his presentation.

As the teacher embarrassed him and removed his First Amendment right to speak, he was then told to sit down and listen to the rest of the students give their own presentations. What followed was a disgusting display of what’s wrong with our moral-less society today. These students picked movie stars to be castrated for cheating, sowing of mouths shut and cutting off of hands of liars, and most shocking, torture to our law enforcement. I was proud of my son for then deciding to leave the classroom and head to student services for the remainder of his class.

I have since reached out to the principal and assistant principal in hopes that this teacher will be disciplined for this sick display of education. While I wait for what will most likely be a disappointing response, I am urging all parents to pay close attention to what is being filled into your children’s moldable minds.

I am equally upset that I am the only parent thus far who has stood up to say that this is not morally right, regardless of your religious or spiritual beliefs. This tells me that either the kids are not telling their parents of what they are being asked to do in school, or worse, that these kids don’t have the moral compass to signal when something doesn’t seem right.
Until we, as parents, decide to stand up and shout when our children are being asked to write disgusting essays about their own manufacturing of torture, society will continue to experience its steep decline into the abyss. May God help us all.

Jessica Beam
Ocklawaha resident