A New Mexico high school teacher resigned over complaints that she allowed a student to write an assignment about Jesus handing out marijuana.
Katrina Guarascio, who taught creative writing at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, asked students to rewrite a fairy tale or legend in a modern setting, reported KOAT-TV.
One of her students updated the biblical story of Jesus handing out fish and bread to the poor and depicted Jesus giving marijuana to the sick.
“I don’t take any personal offense,” Guarascio said. “It’s not written for me, it’s written for them. It’s how they can express themselves.”
Another student became highly offended when the students reviewed one another’s work, and the teen told her parents – who filed a complaint in October with the school.
Guarascio, who is a published poet herself, was placed on administrative leave while the school district investigated.
She said the district indicated she had not conducted her classroom in a professional manner, and Guarascio claims the student had boasted to classmates that she intended to get her teacher fired.
Guarascio said she felt targeted and harassed, and she felt forced to resign.
School officials said she was not forced to resign but chose to do so herself.
Guarascio said she hoped the incident would not discourage students from speaking their minds.
“If they have something to say, say it,” she said. “Not everyone’s going to agree with you, but that doesn’t make your point invalid or worthless. Tell your story.”
Watch this video report posted online by KOAT-TV: