APOPKA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A picture sent to FOX 35 from a concerned viewer shows what appears to be a staged crime scene in the middle of a classroom. Crime tape surrounds a fake body on the floor, fake blood is splattered all around, and there are shoe prints around the body.
Orange County Public Schools confirms this was part of a lesson a teacher put together to help students work on their reasoning and critical thinking skills at Phillis Wheatley Elementary School in Apopka.
"Pretty disturbing," is how one parent, Monique, described it. She has two children in pre-k and the fourth grade. "Its not okay," she said. " I don't want to put those images in my child's head. There's other ways to learn."
Dwayne Evans agrees. He was picking up his girlfriend's son who is in the fifth grade. "I think it's a little inappropriate. I think it's too soon for them to be learning about crime scenes and analyze a crime scene."
In a statement, Orange County Schools wrote, "The district was made aware of an inappropriate modified lesson used in the classroom by a teacher at Wheatley Elementary. We regret that students were exposed to this type of assignment. The district and school administration will investigate and take the necessary steps to prevent this from happening again."
"I don't see what's wrong with it," said parent Anita Smith, who has two grandchildren in the fourth grade, one in the fifth. She doesn't have an issue with this crime scene lesson. "The kids are seeing it on the streets, and they see it on TV, so I don't see nothing wrong with it." Smith says, in her family, murder is a fact of life. "I 'm living that life, because my son was gunned down."
Evans says, even if this is the darker side of life some children may see in their neighborhoods, he does not feel there's a place for this in the classroom. "Especially with the area and the crime, and it's a little inappropriate... watching it and being involved in it is two different things."