JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The parents of a Florida second-grader said their child was withdrawn from school after they questioned an assignment in which their daughter was instructed to “send a picture of you doing reading homework in the bathtub.”
Misty Dunham and her husband Christopher, of Jacksonville, said they were surprised when students at Victory Christian Academy received the request among other assignments, which included practicing “Psalm 24: 1-2 with an adult” three times, reading “Fun With Friends,” and practicing spelling, arithmetic and phonics ahead of future tests, WJAX-TV reported.
“A bathtub is not appropriate for a child to take a picture,” Dunham told the television station.
Dunham said she emailed her 8-year-old’s teacher for clarification.
“I emailed the teacher, ‘Hey, you may want to explain that. Send something out to the parents. Let them know what the intentions are.’ This just does not sound OK,” Dunham told WJAX. “She did send out a message saying, ‘You should be in pajamas, be in your uniform, have fun with it.’ But, it didn’t sit right.”
Dunham said that she contacted school administrators and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to document the incident.
A police report obtained by WJAX stated that the Dunhams were told by administrators, “We have been sending this homework assignment for years, and you’re the only one complaining about it.”
Police advised the parents not to take the photo, according to the television station.
Later, the Dunhams said they received a call from Victory Christian Academy.
“(He said), ‘I think you guys should do a parental withdrawal for the child.’ I said, ‘I can’t. I can’t do that. We refuse to withdraw her,” Dunham told WJAX. “He said, ‘OK thank you for saying that,’ and continued on saying that ‘Well, we’re going to proceed with an administration withdraw.’”
Documentation from the school indicates the Dunhams’ daughter is no longer a student at Victory Christian Academy.
“No explanation,” Dunham told WJAX.
“She did something right by telling mom and dad that she wasn’t comfortable with something, and now she’s no longer in school,” the girl’s father, Christopher Dunham, told the television station.
In a statement to WJAX, Pastor Jesse Latta, the president of Victory Christian Academy, said there were “no bad intentions” with the assignment and it has been removed from the curriculum.
“There was an assignment given, as I understand you have received a copy. It was taken out of an online teacher resource and has been used in many schools,” Latta wrote. “There were certainly no bad intentions with this assignment. When a parent contacted our teacher with a complaint, our teacher immediately sent out correspondence to all parents in the class to assure them that there were no bad intentions with this assignment and to clarify the guidelines. No additional concerns were presented to the teacher.
“While the assignment was completely innocent, out of an abundance of caution and for there to be no misunderstandings, our administration has removed this particular assignment for any future use,” Latta added. “We value our children and their safety is our top priority. We will continue to serve the children and families in which the Lord has graciously allowed us to have a part in their lives.”
Latta did not address the student’s withdrawal from the school, WJAX reported.
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