Parents are complaining after a Delaware school district sent out a joke form making fun of "whiners" by mistake.
School staff at Lombardy Elementary School in Delaware accidentally attached the form to a mass email that was sent out to inform parents of the school's upcoming "Exercise Your Brain Day," according to Delaware Online.
The form, entitled "Hurt Feelings Report," is a sarcastic questionnaire mocking "whiners" and asking them to document their "hurt feelings." The form is commonly found on Internet humor sites.
One parent who received the satirical form claimed it was "completely offensive and mocks children who are bullied in schools," Delaware Online reports.
Other parents who were interviewed by Delaware Online while picking up their children from school said they didn't think the form caused any harm.
"If the children didn't see it, what is the problem?" one father asked. "It was a dumb prank, but I don't think it was malicious."
Brandywine School District spokeswoman Alexis Andrianopoulos told Delaware Online in an email on Feb. 17 that a staff member accidentally put the wrong attachment to the email that was sent out to parents.
She said the form came from "a source external to the school" and "that it was not an official document of Lombardy Elementary or Brandywine School District."
"This was an embarrassing mistake, but it was just that – a mistake," Andrianopoulous wrote.
Lombardy Elementary School serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade, and also has a special education program.
Anna Mendez, director of the California-based organization National Association of People Against Bullying, said the district should consider strengthening its anti-bullying education and counseling programs in light of the mistake, Delaware Online reported.
"Child suicides have been on the rise since 2010 and before anyone attempts to sweep such a harmful act under the rug, they need to be cognizant of the ramifications of their reactions," she said.
According to the Brandywine Schools Code of Conduct, bullying is a Level 3 offense (with Level 4 being the most serious). Bullying by K-5 students is punished with a detention and/or a suspension of one to three days for the first offense. Further incidences could result in a longer suspension of two to five days.