Some Georgia parents are outraged after they say an elementary school used examples of slavery and beatings to teach their children about math.
The problems in question appeared on a third grader’s math assignment.
One problem said, ‘Each tree had 56 oranges. If 8 slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave work?’
But the questions didn’t stop there.
‘How many baskets of cotton did Frederick fill?’
‘If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in 1 week?’
Terrance Barnett was outraged when he read his son’s third grade homework assignment.
“I’m having to explain to my 8-year-old why slavery or slaves or beatings are in a math problem, that hurts,” he said.
Another father, Christopher Braxton, had a similar reaction.
“It kind of blew me away,” said Braxton, “If Frederick, if anyone got any beatings you don’t put that into the homework of any sort.”
Both fathers contacted the principal at Beaver Ridge Elementary School in Norcross, and then they called the local media because they wanted to know how these questions could end up on a child’s homework.
The Gwinnett school district spokesperson, Sloan Roach, said the third grade teachers were attempting to cross curriculums by adding some social studies lessons into the math problems. After learning about slavery in social studies, they apparently felt it would be an excellent idea to reinforce the horrific violence of oppression by having their students count how many times African slaves was abused by their owners.
“They were trying to connect what they learned there with the math,” Roach said. This is simply a case of creating a bad question.”
“We understand that there are concerns about these questions and we agree that these questions were not appropriate,” said Roach.
“Whoever put together this paperwork and everything else, the schools and everything else shouldn’t teach it this way,” said Braxton.
The school acknowledged its mistake, yet the school district defends the teachers against the charges by simply stating that the “bad” questions will not be used again and shredded the assignment.
The NAACP has called for the firing of the nine teachers involved.