Writing teacher resigns after student writes about Jesus and pot

December 10th, 2014 by Staff

Guarascio claims she felt harassed and was forced to resign.

(KOAT ABC 7) RIO RANCHO, N.M. – When a Cleveland High School student wrote about Jesus and drugs for an assignment, that caused some controversy in Rio Rancho — now a teacher at the school is off the job.

“I love teaching,” said creative writing teacher Katrina Guarascio. “I’m not there to judge them. I’m there to encourage them.”
Guarascio said her creative writing class is a safe place for students to find their voices.

The assignment was to take a fairy tale or legend and rewrite it in modern times.

One student changed the biblical story about Jesus handing out bread and fish to the poor to Jesus handing out marijuana to the sick.

“I don’t take any personal offense. It’s not written for me. It’s written for them. It’s how they can express themselves,” said Guarascio.

But according to the teacher, during peer review, one of the other students got highly offended by the story and told her parents. And then the teacher was put on administrative leave while the district investigated.

Guarascio said she felt targeted, harassed and forced to resign. She has one last message for her students.

“If they have something to say, say it,” Guarascio said. “Not everyone’s going to agree with you. But that doesn’t make your point invalid or worthless. Tell your story.”

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