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Teacher Fired Over “Passion” Film Assignment

A Catholic school teacher from the Sacramento area says he was fired for offering extra credit to students who went to see the film “The Passion of the Christ.”

Stephen Hathorn was dismissed last week from St. Lawrence School after he offered the assignment to his seventh graders.

The R-rated film was produced by actor-director Mel Gibson and claims to be a realistic portrayal of Christ´s crucifixion. The film has been criticized for its graphic scenes of torture and violence. School officials would not comment on Hathorn´s dismissal. A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Sacramento said pre-high school students should not be watching R-rated movies.