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Psychology teacher Jeffrey Keene fired after asking students to write their own obituaries on day of active shooter drill at Dr. Phillips High School

Psychology teacher Jeffrey Keene is fighting his termination, says he did nothing wrong.



An instructor in Florida was terminated just hours after assigning his students to write their own obituaries in anticipation of an active shooter drill on campus.

The teacher, Jeffrey Keene, and the school district confirmed the dismissal on Friday.

Keene, who taught psychology, asserted to FOX3 that he believed he had made a prudent decision in assigning the task to 11th and 12th-grade students during their first period on Tuesday at Orlando’s Dr. Phillips High School.

Upon being informed of the upcoming drill on Monday, Keene reasoned that the obituaries could prompt the students to ponder their lives in the event of a school shooting.

He recounted telling his class of 35 that the assignment was not intended to alarm them or cause them distress, but rather to encourage them to contemplate what is significant in their lives and how they aspire to progress and pursue their goals.

During the second period, students from that class informed Keene, who had been recruited in January, that school officials were questioning them about the obituary assignment.

Keene was terminated before the conclusion of the seventh period. “If you cannot have honest conversations with them, what is taking place in this setting?” Keene stated. “As far as I’m concerned, I have not committed any wrongdoing.”

On Friday, a spokesperson for the Orange County School District declined to comment extensively on the situation.

However, when questioned about Keene’s termination, the district’s representative responded with the following statement: “Dr. Phillips High School families were notified that a teacher issued an unsuitable task about school violence.

The administration initiated an investigation, and the probationary employee has been discharged.” Keene, who is 63 years old, stated that he was a recent recruit and not a union member, leaving him with no means to challenge the district’s verdict.

Keene intends to search for another teaching position and has pledged to maintain his approach. “I don’t believe I made any mistakes,” Keene stated.

“I understand that hindsight is always 20/20, but I genuinely did not think that discussing something we were already addressing would be unpleasant or distressing for 16-, 17-, or 18-year-olds.”