A Florida teacher was fired “hours after” he reportedly asked students to write their own obituaries. According to NBC News, the assignment was given ahead of an active shooter drill that same day.
Jeffrey Keene: Florida teacher fired for making students write their own obituaries amid shooting drill https://t.co/o830y2x3dE
— KLS NEWS (@KLSnews_us) April 7, 2023
The Florida Teacher Reportedly Disagrees With His Termination
According to the outlet, Psychology teacher Jeffrey Keene, 63, was fired from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday. However, Keene believes that he has “done nothing wrong.”
“If you can’t talk real to them, then what’s happening in this environment? In my mind, I’ve done nothing wrong.”
On Monday, Keenes explained that he was informed about the upcoming active shooter drill on Tuesday. He felt that assigning students to write their own obituaries would allow them to reflect on their lives “during the school shooter scenario.”
On Tuesday, during the first period, the teacher went on to assign the activity to a mix of 11th and 12th-grade students.
“‘This isn’t a way to upset you or anything like that.'”
He reportedly told his class of 35 students. Additionally, he also explained his stance to reporters.
“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.”
However, by the seventh period that same day, Keenes had been fired.
The Orange County School District Upholds Their Decision
An Orange County School District representative reportedly shared a statement regarding Keene’s termination.
“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.”
Keenes was reportedly hired at the school in January and is not a member of the union. He reportedly has “no recourse” to “reverse the district’s decision.”
Despite his termination, the 63-year-old Psychology teacher is looking to find another job and maintains that he won’t change his practices.
“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.”
A psychology teacher in Orlando, Florida, was fired after he asked students to write their obituaries ahead of an active shooter drill on campus.
Jeffrey Keene said he did not regret the assignment and said he would "absolutely" do it again. pic.twitter.com/2FdFEJnmCC
— Beast News (@BeastNews2) April 8, 2023