A six-year-old girl returned home from school with a “disgusting” Father’s Day gift, leaving her dad stunned and furious.
The student at Connolly Primary School in the north of Perth came home with a printed activity dice which offered ways it claimed to cheer up dads when they were in a bad mood.
One of the options was a bullet – with instructions to take “when all else fails”.
Trent Howard said he was “disgusted” that his six-year-old daughter was given an item which appears to promote suicide from a teacher at Connolly Primary School.
“To create this, and distribute this, disgusting,” he said on 9 News
”If you’ve had enough, shoot yourself’, what else [could that be interpreted to] say.”
“I have a weird sense of humour, [but] that’s not part of any sense of humour to anybody.”
Mr 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 the incident could have wide-ranging impacts for child and parents alike.
“Children can take things very literally, it can play on their minds, they might not have the language to articulate what’s distressing them,’ Psychologist Bailey Bosch told Channel 9.
Ms Bosch added that adults could also be severely “triggered” by the mention of things like bullets and death.
The shocking incident comes in the middle of a mental health crisis for young Australians.
About 1 in 7 children between the ages of 4 and 17 have recently suffered a mental health disorder in Australia, according to Health Direct.
The WA Department of Education said the school had apologised to parents after a “serious lack of judgment”.
“While I understand the activity related to confectionary, it was clearly not thought through and should never have happened,” Melesha Sands, Deputy Director General, Schools for the WA Department of Education told NCA NewsWire in a statement.
“The school has since apologised to parents and will not be repeating this activity in future.
“The principal has also apologised directly to a parent who put in a complaint.
“I’d like to also apologise to parents and reiterate this activity was not appropriate for students, which has been discussed with the school.”