Manhattan private school gives students homework: Write a suicide note

Shocked parents blasted the task as 'inappropriate'

Author: Ken Haddad, Social Media Producer, @KenHLocal4, KHaddad@wdiv.com
Published On: Jun 13 2013 10:35:50 AM EDT
Manhattan, N.Y. -

Parents of students at York Prep, a private school in Manhattan, are outraged at the homework assignment their kids received.

The teens at York Prep were instructed to write suicide notes for their homework. The parents of the elite school blasted the assignment, calling it "inappropriate".

The students were asked to write a letter from the perspective of a book character, May Boatwright, who kills herself in "The Secret Life of Bees", a best selling book and film.

"We were pretty stunned at the scope of the assignment," said a father of a ninth-grade student at the school told the New York Post.

"We thought this was such an outrageous assignment for a 14-year-old to get,” he added. "We pay a lot of money to send our kids to the school."

Headmaster Ronald Stewart said he did not get any complaints from parents.

"York Prep is a co-educational, independent, private day school offering a traditional curriculum for grades 6-12. In the belief that every student can succeed, this Manhattan preparatory school provides a challenging yet supportive atmosphere that makes York Prep outstanding among private schools in New York."

The story comes at a troubling time in that just last week it was revealed nearly 1 in 6 high school students has seriously considered suicide, and 1 in 12 have actually attempted it, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's semi-annual survey on youth risk behavior.