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Gory videos, bomb lessons, assassination tips and other dubious teaching tactics


We've all had our share of certifiable high-school teachers, but the Montreal instructor who showed his Grade 10 students "1 Lunatic,1 Ice Pick" – the 11-minute video believed by authorities to be Luka Magnotta killing, dismembering and defiling the corpse of Lin Jun – showed exceedingly bad judgment.

The 29-year-old civics and history teacher at Cavelier-De LaSalle school has been fired, despite protestations from some students who noted that he'd taken a democratic vote beforehand with a show of hands. But others students pointed out that three in the classroom voted against watching, and were overruled by the popular teacher. After the video, the class discussed the material and its life online.

The school board suspended the teacher and brought in a crisis team for the pupils. Police are mulling criminal charges, and some think they should go ahead. "After all, if a 29-year-old man lured 15-and 16-year-old kids to his home and showed them even soft[core] pornography, he would potentially face Criminal Code offences," Licia Corbella wrote at the Calgary Herald.

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Of course it isn't the first time a teacher crafted one massive head-scratcher of a lesson plan.

There was the instructor who decided to teach geometry students about parallel lines and angles with a discussion on where to stand and aim were you looking to assassinate President Barack Obama. (He got a talking to with the Secret Service, and was placed on leave.)

Even more cringeworthy was the Grade 4 teacher in Virginia who had her white students auction off black students to illustrate the indignities of the Civil War.

"Although her actions were well intended to meet the instructional objectives, the activity presented was inappropriate for the students," said the school principal, in what was surely understatement of the year.

In Florida, a high-school teacher decided to talk about pipe bombs a day after Columbine, sketching a crude diagram of the device on a chalkboard before describing ingredients and vulnerable spots on campus. His excuse? He was just answering questions, and trying to get kids to protect themselves.

In South Carolina, meanwhile, a supply teacher decided a Jackass Number Two clip, featuring a puppet placed on a penis, which then baits a snake, was the best way to teach Latin, a language he didn't understand.

Still another hapless teacher decided to employ "screaming cannibals" in a math riddle.

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And let's not forget Winnipeg's very own pep-rally lap dancers.

Where does the Montreal teacher fall in this pantheon of disastrously poor educational judgment?

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Zosia More


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