During this week, the rest of my English class and I received a lecture from our teacher about how a third of our class had written something inappropriate for our creative writing assignment. Basically we had to take a film title and write a new piece of writing based on that. Now, I bet you’re curious as to what this inappropriate content is. When Miss summarised it, she mentioned drug and alcohol abuse, swearing, excessive violence, bullying and suicide. Some of these I can understand her concern, nearing in mind we are still in secondary school. Excessive violence seems unnecessary, particularly in an exam piece, however some of the others I don’t quite get why she feels they are inappropriate.

We live in a world where many teenagers our age will have had first hand experience or know someone who has had experience with drugs, alcohol, violence, suicide and swearing, so how is it inappropriate to express that in our writing? Now I can understand the teacher being concerned about people’s wellbeing and wanting to know if they need any help with any problems outside of school, but to restrict their writing…

Writing is a way for people to express themselves so how can teachers limit what people choose to write about. Obviously when writing in school, you have to follow the task, but since this task meant you could write practically anything, students shouldn’t feel limited. If these issues aren’t okay to talk about frankly and openly at school in our writing, then when can we explore and talk about this ideas. Unfortunately we do live in a world where drugs, alcohol and violence are problems, young people face so why are they inappropriate for young people to write about?

However looking at it from the other side, I can understand why teachers say that some things shouldn’t be written about in a school writing piece which is going to be marked by examiners. Since this is an exam piece, it should really be rated PG or 12, despite the fact we can all legally watch 15 rated films.

What do you think?
Is there anything you think is inappropriate to write about in school?