KELLER -- Keller school district officials plan to implement a more rigorous screening process for career day presentations after third-graders at Friendship Elementary viewed disturbing medical images during a parent's presentation May 6.
The presenter was discussing iridology, an alternative-medicine practice that believes a person's health conditions can be determined by the appearance of the iris.
She showed two photos of parasitic worm infestations in humans: one of an exposed brain during surgery and the other of bare female buttocks. The images were part of a slide show shown on the classroom whiteboard. District spokeswoman Shellie Johnson said several teachers who viewed the presentation described the pictures as "rather small and blurry."
But some parents say the images upset their children.
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On Tuesday, Friendship Elementary Principal Bronwyn Sullenberger sent a letter to parents to "apologize for any distress your student might have felt or be dealing with by viewing these images."
In the letter, Sullenberger said she is taking steps to prevent similar issues and "determining if career day is a viable event and one we would want to continue to have in the future."
Tracy Bourgeois, the mother of a Friendship third-grader, said she was concerned about the images. "I've talked to my son about it, and he understood it was inappropriate for him to see," she said. "He wasn't terrified by it."
But she said she hopes the incident does not spell the end of career day.
"The kids really look forward to it, but I think they're going to cancel career day in the future," Bourgeois said.
She said she and her husband have given career day presentations for several years. Last year, they made ice cream using liquid nitrogen to cool the ingredients. Her husband works for a medical gas supplier. Other occupations featured last year included an airline pilot, a police officer, chefs and musicians.
Sullenberger's letter to parents said the school counselor was available to work with any children who were upset by the photos.
If career day continues, Keller schools will be more careful of what they allow. An official statement from the district read, "Immediately following the incident the administration began developing a process improvement for rigorously screening all future presentations."
Sandra Engelland, 817-431-2231