Parents protest outside school for using slavery math problems

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Parents and civil rights activists in Georgia are calling for the firing of two teachers who used slavery and beatings as the subjects for third grade math homework.

Mother Nicole Thompson says the principal of Beaver Ridge Elementary told her and her husband that two teachers wrote the homework questions given to her 8-year old son. That four of the nine third grade classes received those questions which were reportedly an attempt at cross-curriculum teaching, using what children are learning in social studies to do math problems. But the subjects were slavery and beatings.

The question Thompson’s husband Chris Braxton showed her shocked her.

“Each tree had 56 oranges. If 8 slaves pick them equally, the how much would each slave pick?”

Thompson says her son’s teacher has not been at school and the children now have a substitute while the county investigates. Dozens of community activists marched outside beaver ridge today, calling for the firing of the teachers involved. Gwinnett school officials say the investigation is ongoing and nothing has been decided.

“The first homework of 2012 and this is about slavery and beatings? They need to do better than that. I want my kids to learn the best things… And they’re going to learn the worse also but there’s a way of teaching it to them,” said Thompson.