Wednesday 25 April 2018

School apologises after encouraging pupil to write 'suicide note'

Donna Bowater

A SCHOOL has apologised after asking a pupil to write a farewell letter to his mother, who was left fearing he would commit suicide.

Wesley Walker, 14, was told to write to his mother as if he had a terminal illness and only had a few hours to live.

But when he handed the note to his mother Vicki, she believed it was a suicide letter and thought her son was going to hang himself.

The letter, seen by the BBC, said: "I am writing this letter to say goodbye and thank you for giving me life and don't cry I don't want you to be sad I want you to remember the fun times and the happy times."

Wesley added: "I know I have been a pain at the best of times but I am with nan and grandad now."

He also asked his mother to give his Xbox console and games to his father, leaving her everything else.

"I felt I was going to find him hanging from his bed, I found it sick," Mrs Walker told the BBC.

"He handed it to me one evening and then just went upstairs to bed.

"I really felt like I was going to find him hanging from his bed and maybe he felt he couldn't take any more."

She added: "I just don't think schools should be asking children to write things like this especially when it can be seen as a suicide note, I don't agree with it."

Wesley said he thought the exercise was "normal" for a creative writing lesson at the Discovery Academy in Staffordshire.

A spokesperson said the exercise was part of an "expressive art" lesson and pupils were asked to say a "special thank you".

They also confirmed Wesley showed the letter to a teacher and that pupils were told to take them home.

The academy apologised for any distress.

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