Editor’s note: This article contains graphic content which may disturb some readers.
A North Carolina high school teacher may soon find herself without a job, due to a controversial video which some believe was meant to give an educational message to students about the dangers of bullying.
As WSOC-TV reports, the video features a fictional re-enactment of “a world where homosexuality is the ‘norm’.” North Lincoln High School has launched an investigation.
The short film, which The Huffington Post describes as “an alternate reality backdrop of a world inverted: heterosexuals are the deviants in a world dominated by gays and lesbians,” follows a young girl named Ashley.
When Ashley’s secret that she is attracted to a boy comes to light, she becomes the victim of harassment and bullying at school.
In a final graphic scene, Ashley commits suicide by slitting her wrists in her bathroom at home.
Despite the graphic nature, at least one student—who didn’t give his name—supported what Fernetti, the teacher who played the video for her class, was trying to teach:
“I think it’s a great message to get out in the school. I personally have dealt with bullying, so I think it’s good to get the point across that ‘Hey, it’s not OK to pick on somebody.’”
Not everyone agrees that it was an appropriate decision, however.
After learning about the video from their children, several parents reportedly contacted the school superintendent’s office to complain about the nature of the film.
As a consequence, Fernetti has been placed on suspension while officials investigate the situation.
Interestingly enough, it’s not the first time that this particular video has put a teacher’s job on the line:
In November of 2015, Kansas middle school teacher Tom Leahy also chose to show his students the film, but he neglected to get permission from school administrators or parents first.
When parents again complained about the graphic conclusion of the film, he resigned — reportedly at the behest of his school’s administrators.
That resignation would last just two weeks, however, before a wave of public support landed Leahy back in the classroom.
As to whether or not Fernetti’s suspension will play out the same way, or if she will ultimately be fired from her school, remains to be seen.