US Teacher Fired After Asking Students To Write Their Own Obituaries For Active Shooter Drill
Mr Keene stated that after hearing about the drill on Monday, he believed the students' obituaries would encourage them to reflect on their lives in the event of a school shooter.
A teacher in Florida was fired after he asked students to write their own obituaries ahead of an active shooter drill on the campus, as per a report in NBC News. Jeffrey Keene, a psychology teacher at Dr Phillips High School, asserted that he felt he exercised sound discretion while assigning the task to students in the 11th and 12th grades during the first period on Tuesday.
Mr Keene stated that after hearing about the drill on Monday, he believed the students' obituaries would encourage them to reflect on their lives in the event of a school shooter. He recalled what he told the 35 students, "This isn't a way to upset you or anything like that."
The psychology teacher told the outlet, "It wasn't to scare them or make them feel like they were going to die, but just to help them understand what's important in their lives and how they want to move forward with their lives and how they want to pursue things in their journey."
It was eventually discovered that someone was unhappy with the teacher's task. By the second period that day, some of Mr Keene's students allegedly told him they had been questioned by school officials regarding the obituaries. He was informed that he had been sacked from his position, which he had begun in January, in the middle of the seventh period.
"If you can't talk real to them, then what's happening in this environment? In my mind, I've done nothing wrong," he said.
Orange County School District said in a statement, "Dr Phillips High School families were informed that a teacher gave an inappropriate assignment about school violence. Administration immediately investigated and the probationary employee has been terminated."
Mr Keene told NBC News that he had no administrative way to request a return to his job because he was a new hire to be eligible for membership in the local teachers' union. In addition, Mr Keene was still completing his post-hiring probation, according to the school district's statement, suggesting that his dismissal might be carried out more quickly than it would for a teacher who had completed the trial term.
He concluded, "I don't think I did anything incorrectly. I know hindsight is 20/20 but I honestly didn't think a 16-, 17-, 18-year-old would be offended or upset by talking about something we're already talking about."