More than 3,375,000 pageviews from 150 countries


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Australian Serial Killing Course for 9th Graders: Exposing Young Minds to Sadistic Murder

     Students in an Australian high school didn't have to wait until college to enroll in stupid, useless courses. A 9th grade teacher in Corio, a suburb of Greelong, Victoria on Australia's southeastern coast, offered a forensic psychology course devoted to the study of serial killers. This begs the question: what educational goal is being met here? Is studying a tiny subculture of deviants with homicidal personality disorders a good way to give 14-years-olds a realistic perception of human behavior? Are these murderous degenerates worthy of this kind of academic attention? Man, where was this teacher when I was in school flunking English, math, and science?

     This 9th grade professor of prolific, pathological homicide gave his (or her) students two weeks to complete a "Serial Killer Investigation Assignment." (I am not kidding, this is not a put on.) The twenty students taking the class were asked to complete ten out of a possible twenty "activities" related to the study of serial killers, their lives, and their victims. This reminds me of Boy Scouts having to do certain things to earn merit badges. Instead of studying the boring stuff, these kids learned all about American serial killers like David Berkowitz (Son of Sam), Ted Bundy, and the man who killed and ate young men, Jeffery Dahmer. (After completing this course, most of these kids would be afraid to visit the U.S.) The Australian students also studied Hannibal Lector, the fictitious, erudite consumer of human flesh. Finally, a course they could sink their teeth into.

     What follows are some of the"Serial Killer Investigation Assignment" activities students could choose from:

     Draw a cartoon panel about how your serial killer murdered someone. This is a good one for a kid with artistic ability who has selected a serial killer like John Wayne Gacy. Gacy, an amateur clown, tricked his young male victims into handcuffing themselves before he slowly strangled them to death. Mr. Gacy buried the dead boys' bodies under his house in Chicago. The visuals here could be great. These students of sadistic, multiple murder could identify with Mr. Gacy who was himself an artist! Maybe they could copy his style and technique. In art, that is. Or maybe they could do a cartoon of him dying in the execution chamber. That would be my choice.

     Choose two serial killers, compare them and decide which of them is worse and why. This is a good exercise for  students who want to be  criminal defense attorneys when they grows up. A student might select Donald Harvey, the Ohio angel of death who murdered hundreds of terminally ill hospital patients by poisoning them to death. Mr. Harvey could be compared to Ted Bundy who raped and murdered dozens of young women. In choosing Harvey over Bundy, the student could argue that all of Bundy's victims were young pretty women, while Donald Harvey just killed old people who were going to die soon anyway. Yes, Donald Harvey was much worse than Ted Bundy. Encouraging a 14-year-old see the good side of a serial killer is, educationally speaking, a splendid idea. Bravo.

     Write a poem about a serial killer. My first question for the teacher would be, does it have to rhyme? Mixing poetry and sudden, violent death will surely get kids interested in writing on a higher level. Let's see, what rhymes with autopsy. That's a tough one.

     Create a serial killer board game with full instructions. Oh my, this one is ambitious. But it's a good exercise because it forces the student to spend hours and hours thinking about sadistic, pathological murder. I would suggest adapting "Chutes and Ladders" to "Tunnels and Dungeons," or "Whips and Chains." Maybe the student could convert a Monopoly board. Instead of real estate, the player lands on potential murder victims. In this game, however, there is no get-out-of jail card.

     Make a children's book which teaches them about serial killers. The goal here, I guess, is to get toddlers interested in multiple homicide. Full color illustrations depicting the various ways serial killers go about their business would be quite instructive. Teaching kids at a young age how to commit serial murder would be, I imagine, an excellent anti-bullying measure.

     Draw a floor plan of a serial killer's "dream house." This is a good assignment for students who want to grow up to be sadistic architects. It goes without saying that the dwelling would feature a torture chamber, a dissecting room, a library of snuff videos, and a large but private back yard. I would also suggest a good ventilation system and a large incinerator.

     Ken Massari, the principal of the Australian high school that employed the 9th grade teacher, didn't know about the serial killer course until he read about it in the local press. Apparently a parent had complained to the media. The principal pulled the plug on the course which including killing the teacher's homework assignments. To a reporter, Massari said that "Upon review, I made the decision to withdraw the assignment immediately and permanently, and our trained staff contacted each family to determine if any support was required." It should be noted that the one family the school didn't contact had disappeared. (Just kidding.) 

1 comment: