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AIBU english assignment involving mitigation of murder?

(13 Posts)
dirk Mon 13-May-13 16:00:15

Someone I know's had their son assigned a writing assignment involving coming up with extenuating circumstances in three hypothetical legal cases, each of which involving murder and one involving torture. The crimes are specified in some detail (e.g., number of times the victim was stabbed). AIBU to think these topics inappropriate for a low-teen child's writing assignment? What would you do if you saw this assignment in your child's list?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 13-May-13 16:01:57

I'd ask the teacher what the hell they'd been smoking when they came up with that bugger!

MomOfTomStubby Mon 13-May-13 23:33:40

It depends on the age of the child.

YoniWidge Mon 13-May-13 23:35:18

Were they linked to a text? Macbeth? Torture in King Lear?

edam Mon 13-May-13 23:36:02

Depends on context, how it is phrased, what they've been studying - if Shakespeare, for instance, or To Kill A Mockingbird, then it could be highly relevant. Most young teenagers will have seen worse on Eastenders, I expect.

deleted203 Mon 13-May-13 23:48:12

I'd think that the teacher was desperately trying to find some topic that might grab the pupils' attention enough to get some decent work out of them, TBH.

Sadly, if you set 'What I did in my Summer Holiday' it doesn't seem to interest most of them smile

JenaiMorris Tue 14-May-13 10:57:08

I can see the value in it for sure. I wouldn't object.

As long as the teacher doesn't mind getting some pretty gory assignments handed in by some of the more bloodthirsty pupils <narrows eyes at ds>

dirk Tue 14-May-13 14:24:13

As I recall, the target age was ~13 year olds; the questions were more Bulger than Shakespeare: "two 10 year olds abduct, torture, and murder a 2 year old: discuss extenuating circumstances and how you would argue their defense".

edam Tue 14-May-13 14:32:53

dirk - have you read any Shakespeare? Very gory crimes indeed. Plenty of blood and guts and death. King Lear's eyes being put out always gave me the creeps.

JenaiMorris Tue 14-May-13 14:49:32

Hmmmm. I can't see that being an ideal example, but then although I am the parent of a child at secondary school, I'm not a teacher.

They might have a different persepective as to how suitable it would be.

Blu Tue 14-May-13 17:11:35

Defense of the accused is a crucial part of the justice system, and debate and advocacy, being able to discuss from a different perspective, are important literacy skills. We don't know enough about the context and the teacher's wider objectives to get all huffed up about it.

Lilka Tue 14-May-13 17:26:24

It doesn't sound too inappropriate for school in and of itself IMHO, but there could be individual pupils who find the topic very upsetting, so personally I would only set that task alongside one or two other tasks which test the same literacy skills - like, you can pick the defending criminals task, or x task, or y task. But then again, I'm not a teacher, so it might not work like that at all. Alternately I would set the same kind of task with lesser crimes - ie. defending a shoplifter. I guess that wouldn't be as interesting for the kisd but it seems like safer ground.

Startail Tue 14-May-13 20:31:55

DD1 is busy researching teen murders for drama GCSE, which she isn't finding particularly cheerful.

Schools do seem to like depressing topics and miserable books (of mice and men, Romeo and Juliet and an inspector calls), no happy endings allowed.

DD2(12) is really fond of and good with small DCs (she wants to teach KS1) and I don't think she'd like to write about a JB type case at all.

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