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Anger at Poole school's "suicide lessons"
AN OUTRAGED mum has vowed to take her daughter out of ‘lessons in suicide’ at Poole High School.
Jennene Garnett says teaching teens about such sensitive issues is inappropriate and that daughter Jasmine Bird, 15, came home distressed when she found out about their next religious studies topic.
The 38-year-old mum-of-two’s fears grew when other parents said their youngsters were shown different ways to commit suicide.
The school’s deputy head, Fan Heafield, however, said the topics formed part of the Year 11 syllabus and was approached with sensitivity.
And any student concerned by the issue would be excused from completing these lessons.
Ms Garnett, a care assistant from Danecourt Road, called the lessons “horrifying” and said: “I know of four people that have committed suicide.
“It’s so widespread, the statistics are shocking and a large amount of children kill themselves as well.
“I read that every 82 minutes someone takes their own life, so a good third of those pupils will have probably been affected by it.
“It’s not an appropriate thing to teach children.”
She wants Jasmine to sit out the classes on suicide and euthanasia, which form part of the Medical Ethics unit on the national curriculum OCR Religious Studies syllabus.
“It’s quite a sensitive issue that affects people across the board,” she added.
“The rate of suicide in Britain is so high in this day and age.
“A friend said his son did the class last year and was shown |different techniques of how to commit suicide.
“I think it’s appalling and don’t want my children involved in that sort of lesson.
“I don’t think it’s fair on her.”
Poole High’s deputy head, Fan Heafield said the topics are tackled with great sensitivity at the end of the two-year course when students are more mature.
“Any student who is concerned by the issues will receive support from their house officer and will be excused from completing these lessons of the unit,” Mrs Heafield said.
“However as these elements form part of the examination at the end of Year 11 we have a responsibility to our students to ensure the full syllabus is covered.”
Pupils also watch part of the 15-rated film A Short Stay in Switzerland, which follows a woman seeking to end her life at a Swiss clinic.