Third graders in in Gwinnett County, Ga., were given math homework Wednesday that asked questions about slavery. One parent, speaking on terms of anonymity, said he couldn’t believe the assignment his 8-year-old son, Billy O’Reilly, brought home from Beaver Ridge Elementary school.
“It kind of blew me away,” he said. “Do you see what I see? Do you really see what I see? They haven’t even learned the 7 or 8 times tables! How is my child supposed to answer this?”
The question read, “Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?”
The school received further complaints that did not just include the skill-level of the math. Grady Mullison, also requesting to remain anonymous, was upset about the fruit used in the math example.
“This is Georgia. Slaves in this area primarily picked peaches. How is my daughter supposed to know her history if she gets math examples that create confusion?”
Gwinnett County school district spokeswoman Slone Rooch tried to put a spin on the situation saying teachers in her district were trying to incorporate social studies into math problems.
“We understand that there are concerns about these questions, but let’s all just try to forget it and move on. I really don’t want this to ruin my weekend,” she said.