Imagine Lawrence Gillman’s surprise when his 5-year-old daughter came home with a spelling worksheet with images of a handgun and an armed robber with a bag of money. “I looked at it and I seen the word ‘gun’ on it,” Gillman told NY1. “The first thing I thought was ‘oh no no no,’ I don’t want you reading it, I don’t want you spelling it. I don’t even want you looking at the picture.”
Yet the teacher at P.S. 201 in Queens deemed it appropriate to teach phonics to tots with a photograph of a man committing a felony. A separate section of the assignment asked the kids to spell gun.
“I teach my kids not to play with guns, don’t aim or do any of that,” one parent said.
Of course, another grown-up didn’t think it was a big deal, nor did the assignment surprise an education professional who figured the page came from a curriculum company and not the teacher’s imagination.
The teacher has apologized and said that the sheet came from a previous school, in a neighborhood where infants probably gain tactile strength with plastic assault rifles.