“If 8 Slaves Pick 56 Oranges…” Norcross, Georgia Elementary School’s Racist Math Problems Rankle Parents
An elementary school in northern Georgia has come under fire over a worksheet that contains math problems that utilize racist scenarios from the slavery era as examples.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, someone at Beaver Ridge Elementary School in Gwinnett County created the shocking worksheet, which was distributed to third-graders and included the following questions:
“Each tree had 56 oranges. If 8 slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?”
“If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in 1 week?”
These math problems have enraged parents of Beaver Ridge students, 86% of whom are black or Hispanic.
“It kind of blew me away,” Christopher Braxton, the father of a Beaver Ridge student, told Channel 2. “I was furious. … Something like this shouldn’t be embedded into a kid of the third, fourth, fifth, any grade.”
“I think the teachers should be reprimanded for using that poor judgment, and an apology should be made,” Jennifer Falk, a community activist whose two children graduated from Gwinnett County high schools, told the Journal-Constitution. “But the bigger question is how could something like this happen?”
Parents are calling for an apology and diversity training for teachers and school district officials in the wake of this alarming incident. Those officials said that teachers were trying to incorporate history into students’ math lessons. The offending worksheet should have bene reviewed by officials before being distributed to students, but this obviously did not happen.
Officials said they would work with math teachers to come up with better questions.
“Clearly, they did not do as good of a job as they should have done,” district spokeswoman Sloan Roach admitted to the Journal-Constitution.
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