NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — Parents in Newton County are outraged over a homework assignment sent home with their kids that they believe is culturally insensitive.
The math assignment features explorers Lewis and Clark holding a musket and their Native American guide Sacagawea.
“It was racist and it depicted gun violence,” Rashida Aikens said.
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Aikens told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington that her 6-year-old cousin received the assignment in her first grade class.
“There was different imagery that could have been used aside from two white males with a gun and the answer was a brown girl,” said Aikens.
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A Newton County Schools spokesperson told Washington that the assignment was part of an independent learning day which included reading and writing about the historical contributions of Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea. She said a math assignment was also included.
The spokesperson issued a lengthy statement on Thursday afternoon.
“In the math assignment, cartoon graphics of Sacagawea and Lewis and Clark holding a musket were incorporated in flash cards designed to practice math skills. Unfortunately, out of context, the cartoon graphics, which include Lewis & Clark holding a musket, may appear insensitive. That was most definitely not our intention.”
“The NCSS instructional team has been made aware of the concern and as a result, parents will be notified that they can remove the math assignment from the packet. We work hard to be sensitive to matters such as these and we apologize if anyone was offended by our efforts.”
Aikens said she and other parents plan to further discuss the matter with the Board of Education.
“We need to vet the curriculum more than we are at this point,” Aikens said.
She added that she wants the assignment pulled from the entire learning packet.
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