A Maryland English teacher decided that a great way for her students to demonstrate their grammatical skills was to describe how they would kill her.
According to the Washington Post, four classes at Kingsview Middle School were told by Patricia Lorenzen to write a detailed story of the murder using specific types of words.
The story had to include at least three gerunds, three infinitives and three participles.
Only after parents voiced concerns did Lorenzen realize that some of the stories might not turn out to be PG-rated.
Lorenzen wrote a letter to parents in November of last year, explaining the purpose of the exercise and apologizing for assigning it.
I was trying to create an assignment that would be an engaging way to review some grammar concepts, but it was not appropriate and should not have happened.
Some of the students had already written their stories before the letter was sent.
Lorenzen gave those students full credit, while the others were excused from having to turn it in.
Kingsview principal James D’Andrea told the Washington Post that there haven’t been any problems with Lorenzen’s other assignments.
He wrote in an email,
When this occurred more than two months ago, I personally apologized on behalf of the school to the parents who contacted me. The matter has settled down since that time.
RT notes the assignment’s resemblance to an Oklahoma teacher telling her eighth graders last month to circle the verbs on a worksheet describing the 2013 murder of a Massachusetts teacher.
The exercise read,
He followed his teacher to the bathroom, beat her, and slit her throat… He, then, dumped her body in the woods behind the school… Police were notified when a pool of blood was found in the women’s bathroom.
The teacher was disciplined but allowed to keep her job.