Parents were left stunned after they discovered their teenage children were instructed to suicide notes for their homework.
The pupils at New York's York elite Prep $41,000-a-year private school were given the macabre assignment by their English teacher.
They were asked to write the letter from the perspective of May Boatwright, a character who kills herself in The Secret Life of Bees, a best-selling book and film.
"We were pretty stunned at the scope of the assignment," said a father of a student at the school told the New York Post.
"We thought this was such an outrageous assignment for a 14-year-old to get. We pay a lot of money to send our kids to the school."
Headmaster Ronald Stewart said that he had not received any complaints from the parents.