Teacher Suspended For Showing Actual Murder Video To Class

A high school teacher in Montreal has been suspended after he showed his Grade 10 class a video of an actual murder. Students claim the teacher screened a copy of the now notorious video showing Jun Lin being (allegedly) stabbed and dismembered by Luka Magnotta in May before sending his body parts across Canada in the mail.

The History and Citizenship teacher, a mid-year substitute on a temporary contract, told the students on June 4 that he had a copy of the video which had been posted on a gore site by Magnotta after the murder and was available for several days before police requested its removal. He asked the students whether they wanted to watch the video, and all voted anonymously to do so. The class then spent the rest of the 75 minute period discussing it.

The school board suspended the teacher with pay the same afternoon pending investigation. A 16 year old student who was in the class spoke to the CBC, saying that the video was “troubling” but wouldn’t have a lasting effect on him.  The school board has taken no chances and have dispatched a “crisis cell” of psychiatrists and counselors to talk with the students.

The case has gripped Canada, not in the least because of the gory, grisly details of the murder but also because of the enormous social media footprint of the suspect and the case.

Showing an actual murder video in a school is highly inappropriate, obviously – but this incident does spark some interesting questions. The teacher showed the video, but also hosted a discussion among the teens afterwards, allowing them to discuss their own reactions and feelings about what they saw. We allow teenagers to watch fictional gore in movies or on television – do we talk to them about violence appropriately after watching fiction? Would it be worse if the teens were to seek out the video themselves (which they could easily do) and watch it without the benefit of adult guidance? In short, was the teacher simply misguided, or completely wrong?


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Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

Misguided, but not in the complete wrong. We see awful grisly murders on tv and in movies all the time. He should have had permission from the school and parents first, but if it was relevant to an issue they were learning about, I can see how it could be beneficial. It would depend on what class it is, the age of the students, and the direction of the discussion afterward

MEGAN N4 years ago

To Qualify my last statement - It was an entirely academic POV and an attempt by me to answer a question posed by Dorothy. Personally though I agree with Alex and I believe that this man has no respect for the dead and should never be allowed to teach kids again until he has matured quite a bit. Talking about this WITHOUT showing the video might have been a teachable moment but to show the film was wrong. Also I found other articles on this guy and his actions where at least 6 of the students sought out help from the crisis counselors and were deeply upset by what they say. This man has not only victimized the victim again but also the children by exposing them to the imagery which they will never be able to escape. Most of us are lucky enough to go our entire lives and never see anything so horrible and mentally and emotionally damaging as a murder. Why was this man trying to force such a horrible experience on children who couldn't possibly fully understand what they were agreeing to?

MEGAN N4 years ago

I think there might be a finer point to it then the "did it not occur to you that maybe this was the point - that real people, just like themselves, really suffer when victimized/murdered and that this cannot be mindlessly passed over?" Which Dorothy pointed out. While she does have a valid point I have another POV which I do not believe is any less valid. In my experience as a mother I have found that my children can watch some act of violence on a movie or on Law and Order or some other such show and feel nothing because they know that it is fake and that the actors are fine after the filming is done. They become more emotional if an act of violence is based on a real event because they know that even though the actor is fine, someone actually suffered the pain they are seeing on screen for real. They are even more emotional at the news when they hear about someone dying and when they heard about this man and his crimes on the news they were very upset. BUT I believe that if we begin showing real murder to kids in the same medium with which they regularly see fake violence portrayed it might blur the lines and sadly the more exposed to something they become the more they begin to accept it. Right now young people know and understand that TV violence is not real. If we mix real violence in with the fake violence it might serve to make real violence less horrible rather than the other way around.

alex l.
alex l4 years ago

it doesn't matter how well he knew his class, or what the children wanted, or how they respond to media.

using the last minutes of his life IS NOT RIGHT
using the images of his corpse rape IS NOT RIGHT
using him at all IS NOT RIGHT

if he were alive, and had been raped and it was taped and shown, he could sue anyone showing this film.
but he was EATEN after being murdered and raped, and therefore can't stop others from desecrating his corpse.

this is desecration of a corpse. this is the gross use of a dead body. it is vulgar, wrong and absolutely tells those kids that it is ok, so long as the guy is dead.
HE WAS A REAL PERSON. you DO NOT get to decide how his death is used. IT IS HIS.
for heaven's sake, where is the respect?

where is the respect for his parents? do you really think they want others to watch their son screaming to his death for entertainment?
arguing that this is educational ignores the REAL PEOPLE INVOLVED.
if you want to go and get raped and murdered, and have others watch it afterwards, go for it, but don't you dare presume to say it is OK for anyone else.

alex l.
alex l4 years ago

showing his murder, without the permission of his parents, and clearly without his permission is a violation of him, and there is no way you can justify it.

the reason the murderer put it online was to turn his victim into a thing, an object, a project, and to violate him again and again. anyone who watches, helps him do that.

you can make watching this clip sound noble and grand, but the truth is that it is mere exploitation of a man who suffered more horrifically than i care to imagine.
don't you dare try to justify it - unless you would like to explain to his parents why showing their son begging for his life, and then the rape of his corpse is really a good thing that "educates".

and Dorothy, the reason people accept the things you mentioned? because they are desensitized by the media. they are no longer horrified, because things like this mean no more to them than a movie. some here even claimed they were the same thing.
if you support making children into witnesses of murders, and showing them corpse rape and mutilation, then i suggest you are desensitized too, and lack compassion.

would you like your son to be treated this way? shown like a sideshow as he dies?
no? then don't you dare try to justify it.

alex l.
alex l4 years ago

if you wouldn't want it done to your child, who had been murdered and raped, how dare you support it being done to someone else's child?
did you think at all about his family, going mad with grief and rage?
did you think at all about what this man would have wanted?
did you think at all about how seeing this will affect those kids?

alex l.
alex l4 years ago

Jane R
they do not see worse in movies!
this man was not acting, it was not FX, he was REAL. he really died. he really tried to fight for his life.
these children have now witnessed a murder, followed by the rape of the victim's body. does the victim deserve no compassion because he is on the other side of the lens? is he just a little figure on the screen to you? has TV desensitized you that much? how much more these kids?

i can't believe those of you who say that this is not wrong - how would you like your son to be murdered, his body raped and partially eaten, and then have others watch it for entertainment?
watch him beg for his life, listen to him screaming. watch his body being raped?
still sound "educational"?
how dare you say this is not wrong - that is WHY the murderer filmed it! to make his victim into an object, and to hurt him over and over again, by showing his last terrible minutes for fun. this wasn't about education - this was the exploitation of a murder victim.

just because you can watch it, doesn't mean you should, otherwise child porn is fine. those children are being raped so others can watch and masturbate to it.
it is exactly the same thing here - it was filmed so this man could be violated even after he was dead. and now those children have that in their heads, and will always have it in their heads. they are witnesses to a murder and corpse rape. are you seriously going to say that is ok? if you wouldn't want it done to your child, how

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

sarah m.
sarah munson4 years ago

He discussed it for 75 min afterward, which hopefully makes some of his intention good. But why such a dark topic? Optimism is a much needed thing to be taught to young people, right?