How did this make it through development and on a test?
SALT LAKE CITY -- A controversial homework assignment is
throwing slavery back into the spotlight in Georgia --
nearly a century and a half after the conclusion of the
Third-graders in the Atlanta-area Gwinnett County School
District were sent home Wednesday with math homework that
contained references to slavery.
One question read, "Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight
slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave
Another asked, "If Frederick got two beatings per day, how
many beatings did he get in one week?"
A third question asked students to calculate a figure
using baskets of cotton picked.
The math problems dredged up painful topics for
parents as they fielded difficult questions from their
"I'm having to explain to my 8 year old why
slaves, or beating is in a math problem," Terrance Barnett
told WSB-TV in Atlanta. "That hurts."
Other parents were infuriated at what some
deemed to be proof that America did not end the war on
racism with the civil rights movement.
"This outrages me because it just lets me know that
there's still racists," said Stephanie Jones, a parent of
one of the students.
Gwinnett District spokeswoman Sloan Roach said the math
problems resulted from the teachers trying to cross
curriculars by using social studies to teach math
"In this one, the teachers were trying to do a cross-
curricular activity," Roach said. "We understand that
there are concerns about these questions, and we agree
that these questions were not appropriate."
The district typically reviews assignments before they are
distributed to students, according to Roach, but somehow,
these assignments were missed.
Roach said the questions were not meant to offend, and the
assignments have been shredded to avoid their resurfacing.
Teachers at the school will be spoken with to avoid future
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