A six-year-old girl came home from school with a “disgusting” Father’s Day gift, leaving her father stunned and angry.
The student from Connolly Primary School in Perth’s north came home with a printed activity cube that was said to offer ways to cheer up dads when they were in a bad mood.
One of the options was a bullet – with instructions on how to intervene “if all else fails.”
Trent Howard said he was “disgusted” that his six-year-old daughter was given an item intended to promote suicide by a teacher at Connolly Primary School.
“Creating this and spreading it is disgusting,” he said on 9 News.
“If you’ve had enough, shoot yourself, what else.” [could that be interpreted to] say.”
“I have a strange sense of humor, [but] That’s not part of the humor for anyone.”
Howard’s wife, Renea, said the teacher told her the gift was meant to be a joke.
“It wasn’t funny,” she said.
A psychologist also warned that the incident could have far-reaching effects on both the child and parents.
“Children can take things very literally, it can affect their thoughts, they may lack the language to express what’s troubling them,” psychologist Bailey Bosch told Channel 9.
Bosch added that adults can also be strongly “triggered” by the mention of things like bullets and death.
The shocking incident comes in the midst of a mental health crisis among young Australians.
According to Health Direct, around one in seven children aged between 4 and 17 in Australia have recently suffered from a mental health disorder.
The WA Department of Education said the school apologized to parents because they “severely lacked judgement”.
“While I understand the confectionery-related activity, it was clearly not well thought out and should never have happened,” WA Department of Education Assistant Director-General for Schools Melesha Sands told NCA NewsWire in a statement.
“The school has since apologized to parents and will not repeat this activity in the future.
“The principal also apologized directly to a parent who made a complaint.
“I would also like to apologize to parents and reiterate that this activity was not suitable for students, which was discussed with the school.”