A parent in Perth, Australia, reported to local 9News that his six-year-old daughter brought home a “disgusting” Father’s Day gift — illustrating that teachers and school administrators need to be held to a higher level of accountability.
The parent, Trent Howard, shared that his young daughter was given an item to take home as a “gift.” The present was prepared by her teacher at Connolly Primary School.
The “gift” was a kind of “activity dice” that could be rolled when “in a bad mood,” said Howard. One of the dice options was a picture of a bullet, which children were encouraged to color.
Above the picture of the bullet the text read: “Bullet — Take when all else fails.”
“To create this, and distribute this, disgusting,” said Howard. The furious father told 9News that the school’s “gift” seemed to advocate suicide at a time when mental health challenges and suicide rates are on the rise.
”If you’ve had enough, shoot yourself,” Howard said of the bullet picture. “What else [could that be interpreted to] say.”
Howard’s wife Renea asked her daughter’s teacher about the disturbing gift. Renea shared with 9News that the teacher claimed the gift was meant to be a joke.
The New York Post reported that Renea replied: “It wasn’t funny.”
A local psychologist, Dr. Bailey Bosch, agreed, warning “the incident could have wide-ranging impacts for child and parents alike.”
“Children can take things very literally,” Bosch said. “[Things like this] can play on their minds; they might not have the language to articulate what’s distressing them.”
Bosch added: “Let’s also remember there are adults around that could be completely triggered by some words such as bullets or death.”
9News reported the Department of Education acknowledged the activity was “clearly not thought through” and “showed a serious lack in judgment”.
School administrators have apologized to parents.
Melesha Sands, Deputy Director General, Schools for the WA Department of Education issued a statement through NCA NewsWire:
“While I understand the activity related to confectionary, it was clearly not thought through and should never have happened.
“The school has since apologized to parents and will not be repeating this activity in the future.
“The principal has also apologized directly to a parent who put in a complaint.
“I’d like to also apologize to parents and reiterate this activity was not appropriate for students, which has been discussed with the school.”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.