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Friday, June 2, 2023

Reader responds to letter about students condemning 9 people to hell for school assignment

A Marion County resident submitted a letter to Ocala-News.com in response to another reader who voiced concerns on a high school assignment that asked students to condemn nine people (famous, politicians, or someone in their life) to hell.

“I agree with Ms. Beam and I disagree with her. Yes, parents should definitely know what is being taught in school, but is this assessment “sick”? Has Ms. Beam ever read Dante’s Inferno? Dante’s Inferno was written in the 14th century (1314) and is still relevant today. I look at the assignment as a “do to others as you would have them do to you” issue or an “eye for an eye” (punishment fits the crime). The students come away from the assignment with the experience that actions have consequences. They can do the assignment without violence using fictional characters and then discuss why the student chose the character and why they think the character should be punished. Many kids’ realities are video game-based, and this assignment could explore potential mental health problems.”

Jackie White
Orange Lake resident