I actively try to be less worried about the dangers and hazards in my children’s lives, but I’m certainly no where close to being a free range parent. Still, even I thought the story today about parents irate over a school homework assignment was ridiculous.
A kindergarten class at P.S. 201 in Queens, New York was given a photocopied worksheet with pictures on it. The children were to finish naming each drawing by writing out the first letter of the word in the space provided below it. What has parents in an uproar is that one drawing showed a robber (rob) and another showed a “gun”, among many other photos beside them of photos like “jam”, “bud”, and “bus”.
One mom said: “It’s inappropriate for a kindergartner to have to learn that. It makes it seem like it [violence] is OK. It’s not — it’s totally not. There’s enough violence in the world already. But to teach it in school is a whole other thing. The kids are going to think it’s OK.”
So if a child can recognize (and spell) a gun or a robber, they are doomed to a life of tolerating violence or becoming violent? Seriously, who among us didn’t color in these worksheets when we were kids? Have we turned into murderers or criminals?
I’m fairly sure that my oldest daughter has had these types of worksheets with knives, and (gasp) even guns on them. I never gave it much thought. I certainly never even considered correlated her recognizing a weapon to becoming violent. Having a child recognize a gun is healthy thing, isn’t it, particularly when children actually bring real guns to school now? You’ll notice how the prevalence of real guns in schools were not a problem back when we were kids and filling in these sheets with pictures of them.
I think most 5-year-olds know what a gun is. I’m not of the belief that we should put blinders on our children or that our kids are stupid. Kids know what guns are and furthermore, they should. They have to, by way of living in our world, know what terrible things are. Should we also hide photos of knives?
Ironically, many parents are OK with sexualizing our kids in toddlerhood, having trashy TV programs, clothes, and dolls everywhere you look, and creating more violent video games every year. Perhaps if teens (and adults) weren’t so easily able to purchase guns, and our laws were stricter, there wouldn’t be so much violence. That is what actually shows people that violence is acceptable.
The principal said that the while assignment came from an old workbook where those photos were customary, she also said the teachers assignments will be monitored so nothing like that goes home again.
What do you think? Would you be horrified if your child came home with that assignment? And teachers, do you find these worksheets objectionable?
Image: NY Post
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