A class of primary school children were left in tears after they were told to draw a picture of a dead loved one.
The youngsters were asked to draw in a lesson about grief where they were also shown a video of other youngsters talking about deaths in their family.
Primary Six pupils, aged between nine and 10, at Camdean Primary School in Rosyth, Fife, were allegedly asked to draw a deceased loved one which left half the class in tears.
The local authority have defended the lesson on grief as part of the Curriculum for Excellence.
But a number of parents now have written to Fife Council to voice their concern over the lesson.
Adrian Marshall, 43, dad to ten-year-old Ryan, said this method of teaching could lead to many pupils being left with “dark memories”.
The inventory systems advisor from Dunfermline said: “My son came home and told me that a load of children had been crying in class after being shown a really sensitive video.
“They were asked to draw a deceased loved one.
“When I complained and met with the teachers, I was told it was all part of Curriculum for Excellence.
“I think it is important for children to learn about grief but the way this was taught was not the right way of doing things.
“It could potentially cause the kids to develop some dark memories.”
“What I take issue with is that there were no letters sent out to us seeking our permission for the class to go ahead or to ask us if we would like to attend to comfort our kids.
“There’s never a good time to teach kids about this stuff but I think they could have done with the emotional support of their parents when learning about death.”
Ten-year-old Ryan did not draw anyone despite being asked to but did write about a recently departed family friend.
The children were also told that it was alright to cry which many of them did.
Adrian added: “Ryan is OK now, he normally takes things in his stride but he did talk about this for quite a while afterwards.
“He didn’t draw anyone but he did write about our close family friend Dean who recently died at the age of 45.
“There was some light relief from all of this though because Ryan wasn’t sure what Dean was to us and had written that he was his great-grandfather.
“They were told that it was alright to cry and over half of them did. One said they didn’t want to do the drawing but was told by the teacher to do it anyway.”
Education chiefs have admitted that parents should be pre-informed in the future when their children will be discussing sensitive subjects in class.
But they also said that, as part of Curriculum for Excellence, children were to be taught emotional skills in addition to more traditional subjects.
Angela Logue, Education Officer for Fife Council, said that the lesson had given the children a chance to share their experiences of someone who was important to them.
She said: “Curriculum for Excellence is designed to teach children skills that will equip them for life.
“This means teaching them ’emotional’ skills as well as the more ‘traditional’ subjects like reading, writing and maths.
“In Primary Six, we help pupils explore issues and emotions around grief, looking at skills and strategies which will help them deal with change and loss.
“In this case, the class had the opportunity to share their experiences and memories of someone special and support each other through discussion.
“The school recognises that parents should be informed before their children discuss potentially sensitive topics in class and we’ll make sure that this happens in the future.”