Beaver Ridge Elementary School in Norcross, Georgia, landed in hot water after third-graders’ math homework included word problems that many parents found offensive.
In an interview with WSB-TV, one father said he was shocked to discover that his son’s homework included questions focused on slavery, including “Each tree had 56 oranges. If 8 slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?” and “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in 1 week?”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that more than 100 third-graders received the homework. In the WSB-TV interview, school district spokesperson Sloan Roach said the teachers were trying to do a “cross-curricular activity” that integrated social studies and math. She acknowledged that the questions were “not appropriate.” The district has launched an investigation.
There is nothing wrong with teaching geography, history, and social studies across the curriculum; however, context and appropriate perspective are vital. These two characteristics appear to have been missing in the math homework.