Longhorn Publishers apologise over book that appears to encourage suicide

By Vincent Kejitan | Saturday, Feb 15th 2020 at 11:06
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Longhorn Publishers on Friday apologised to the public following outrage over the contents of a grade two book they published.

The book, Smart Score Encyclopaedia Volume 1, was put on the spot for giving inappropriate choices to life situations.

One of the questions that caused uproar was: “Alice says she looks bad. What should you tell her?” Choices provided for this question included: 1. God loves, 2. Kill herself.

Another was: "Lucy and Margaret are sisters. Lucy is loved more by her parents. What should Margaret do? The choices provided are: 1. Kill herself, 2. Do what her parents want.

Through a statement to their customers, Longhorn acknowledged the query and took full responsibility saying they had recalled the books from the market.

“We take great pride in providing high-quality learning materials to our customers, but in this instance, we failed…we are extremely sorry.

“We take matters regarding mental health seriously and would never wish for our products to be considered to be encouraging suicide,” read the statement in part.

Further, the publisher stated that corrective steps had been put in place to ensure the situation does not happen again.

“We always aim to improve and your feedback is essential to that process,” stated the letter.

Jeff Khira, a mental health advocate, opined on the matter saying the rising rates of suicide among school-going children might be attributed to such content since it interferes with their thought process.

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