Beaver Ridge Elementary School district officials said an effort to incorporate history into math lessons of their third grade classes was the reason for questionable references found on the students’ worksheets.
Officials from the Atlanta-area district said school principal Jose DeJesus plans to help the teachers put together more appropriate lesson questions, but parents are demanding an apology.
Wsbtv.com reported that children received math worksheets containing questions about slavery and beatings. One of the math problems read, "Each tree has 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?" Another question was, "If Frederick got two beatings each day, how many beatings did he get in one week?"
One student’s father, Terrance Barnett, called the Beaver Ridge principal to complain about his son’s homework. According to the New York Daily News, Barnett said, "I'm having to explain to my 8-year-old why slavery or slaves or beatings are in a math problem. That hurts."
According to ajc.com, Beaver Ridge, has 62 percent Hispanic or Latino students, while 24 percent are black or African-American, and 5 percent are white. The school has about 1,200 students.
School district spokeswoman Sloan Roach said the teachers mean to do a “cross-curricular activity.” According to Mail Online, she said that the problems confused students because they contained no historical background information, and they asked parents why someone was being beaten twice a day.
Beaver Ridge officials said the worksheets have been shredded. The teachers responsible have not been identified.