A public school in New York is taking heat for nixing a kindergarten show in favor of college prep time for its youngest students.
"These are 5-year-old children! This is outrageous!" parent Ninette Solis wrote in her Change.org petition to reinstate the student performance at Long Island's Harley Avenue Primary School.
"The kindergarten show is a positive experience and beneficial to the children’s development. … This helps them build confidence in themselves. The show also helps develop public speaking skills while allowing the children to celebrate a big accomplishment."
Her petition had more than 3,100 signatures as of Tuesday morning.
School officials made no qualms about the move, citing tougher early education standards in a letter to parents.
"The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple," the leader reads. "We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers."
Parents and education experts have called the decision "tantamount to child abuse" and "just plain sad."
A meeting about the decision was planned Tuesday night.