English teacher Jessica Barrish apparently doesn't follow international news: Just 6 months ago, a French teacher came under fire for asking her class of 13- and 14-year-olds to pen a suicide note; it didn't end well. Barrish apparently did the very same thing in May, asking students of the same age at NYC's tony York Prep (tuition: north of $40,000 a year) to write a suicide letter from the point of view of a character who takes her own life in the Secret Life of Bees, reports the New York Post. Read the assignment: "How would you justify ending your life? What reasons would you give?"
The headmaster says no parents have complained; the Post tells a slightly different story, having talked to one parent who calls the assignment "outrageous." Barrish isn't alone when it comes to teachers in the news: The Local reports that a French teacher apparently decided that his math class needed a lesson in sadism on Monday. He allegedly showed his 11-year-old students the film Saw, telling them, "This will be your first horror film." He received a one-day suspension. (Read more strange stuff stories.)