Principal reacts to math homework assignment referring to slavery


NORCROSS, Ga.,None - A Gwinnett County elementary school principal is speaking out after one of his teacher’s homework assignments sparked a nationwide controversy.

Beaver Ridge Principal Jose DeJesus issued a statement on the school website regarding a math homework assignment given to third grade students referencing slavery.

“Last week, a homework assignment went home with four of our third grade classes. The worksheet included 20 questions and a few parents contacted me specifically with concerns about three of the questions. I investigated this at the school level and determined that these questions were created by one of our teachers and had been sent home with four classes,” DeJesus wrote.

Parents contacted the school over questions like, "Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?"

Another math problem said, "If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?"

DeJesus explained that the students had been reading about former slave Frederick Douglas and that teachers have been encouraged  to cross curricula.

“While I encourage our teachers to create cross-curricular lessons, my expectation is that those lessons be appropriate and provide true connection between the subject areas. That did not occur in this case and we are working to ensure that this does not happen again and that this situation is handled appropriately,” DeJesus wrote.

DeJesus said that the district’s human resources division is investigating the matter.

Click here to read the entire letter.

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