Junior Stu Dent drowns in own tears due to homework

Trevor Nichols, News Editor

Junior Stu Dent drowned in his own tears after receiving a large amount of homework on Tuesday. Dent, trapped under piles of worksheets and assignments, was unable to escape the flooding.

“It’s a tragedy beyond words,” senior Stacey Cryer said. “He never even got to finish his assignments. Where’s the justice in that?”

Emergency workers spent three hours clearing away the piles of homework surrounding Dent’s house before they were able to reach him. At that point, it was too late for emergency medical care to revive Dent.

“At first, when we were digging through all the homework, I was optimistic about getting to Dent in time to administer CPR,” emergency worker Hugh Mann said. “But then I saw the first rough draft of a paper due the next day, and I knew that we had our work cut out for us.”

A recording of Dent’s 9-1-1 phone call reveals that Dent had the time to dig his way out of the flooding room as his tears began to reach waist height, but decided to try to type out one more page of his report before leaving.

“I think this shows the sort of problem we are really up against,” Mann said. “It’s about the students’ mentality towards homework, not the amount that is assigned.”

Recent surveys indicate that 79 percent of high school students believe it was “totally worth it” for Dent to continue writing his report as the water level rose in his room, while 13 percent believe that Dent should have “rage quit that essay” when the tears were up to his neck. The remaining 8 percent of students were undecided.

“Believe me, there is nobody more upset about Dent’s death than I am,” Assistant Superintendent Ida Boss said. “However, I think that I speak for everybody when I say that we can all admire and learn from Stu’s incredible dedication to completing an assignment. We should all try to follow Dent’s example.”

Friends and family continue to express surprise after Dent’s untimely death.

“I don’t think that anybody really ever expected this to happen to Stu,” Cryer said. “He got three or four hours of sleep each night. That’s better than almost everybody else I know.”

Experts agree that Dent had roughly 29 hours’ worth of homework left to complete at the time of his death. All of it was due the next day.

“Only 29 hours’ worth of homework left?” Cryer said. “See, he even had a light load of work that night. This really doesn’t make any sense. Stu never used to break a sweat when he worked 50 hours each night.”

According to authorities, this is the 37th homework-related death in Katy this month.

“This is the first time I’ve ever heard of anyone drowning due to homework,” Mann said. “Usually when homework is the cause of death, it’s due to something like sleep deprivation, or suffocating under all the papers, or slipping on them and falling down the stairs, or even getting a really bad paper cut.”

In response to Dent’s death, the school district released an official statement stating “darn, not again.” The district stopped launching internal investigations of the volume of homework assignments after the 20th homework-related death this year.

“I know that it sounds a little callous not to promise any sort of investigative committee after this tragedy,” Boss said. “But if we launched an investigation for every homework-related death in the district, we’d run out of funds for the entire year after just the second month of school.”

While there was no investigatory committee launched after Dent’s death, the district is reviewing past proposals to prevent homework-related deaths. These proposals focused on the possibilities of teaching students to work on 17 assignments at once, extending high school for another ten years to space out all the homework, and issuing lighters to all students so that they could burn away piles of homework trapping them inside rooms.

“I still like the lighter idea,” Boss said. “During the trial month for that proposal, we only lost three students to homework-related deaths. Of course, we lost 83 students to fire-related deaths that month, so there is a bit of a trade-off.”

A memorial service will be held for Dent on Sunday.

“We need to recognize that there is a fundamental problem with the system of homework today,” Cryer said. “Some people have suggested eliminating ‘busy-work’ assignments and teaching students to manage their time better, but I think that we all know the real solution. We all need to drop out of school and join the circus. That’s the only way to break the cycle.”