Town hall takes on homework controversy

by: Eric Philips Updated:


GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga.,None - Gwinnett County School parents gathered at a town hall meeting Monday night to discuss racially charged incidents in the district.

Parents pointed to a controversial homework assignment that mixed a lesson on slavery with math. Another contentious incident involved students playing a game of slaves and slave catchers at a school playground.

“There takes some one incident that causes parents to say, ‘It’s time to stand up, and we think that the homework assignment was enough,” Georgia NAACP President Ed Dubose told Channel 2’s Eric Philips.

Philips attended the meeting at Duluth’s New Beginnings church, where parents said they want more action from the school district. Dubose said he was there to listen before confronting the school board.

“The school has not reached out to say, ‘Hey we're sorry. This was not our intent,’” Jamile Mathis said.

Her child was among students at Beaver Ridge Elementary School who received the infamous homework assignment that asked third-graders about slave beatings and cotton picking.

Another parent, Plechette Walker, said her children didn’t receive the assignment but she was among a group who rallied outside the school in protest.

“They’re getting treated funny because mommy was on the news and protesting. So now, they’re getting a lot of backlash,” Walker said.

No one from the school system was at the meeting, but the chair of the Gwinnett School Board has previously apologized for the homework incident. The teacher who wrote the assignment recently resigned.

The district has also denied involvement in the playground game at Camp Creek Elementary School. Students said a teacher acted as a safehouse guard in the game, but school officials said the game was student-initiated, and the teacher did not participate.

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