How would you feel if you looked at your elementary-grade child's math homework and saw a problem that read, "Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?" Would that make you mad?

Parents who have students at Beaver Ridge Elementary school in Norcross, GA. are upset that the school used slavery references in a math word problem homework assignment.

Another question read, "If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?"

The parents contacted the principal to ask why the math problems had slavery references in them, but at time of this article, there's been no response.

A district spokesperson said that it was the teachers' attempt at a cross-curricular activity, but parents aren't buying it. They say that there's no historical reference in the assignment, nor any reference to a lesson on slavery the children had taken. Parents literally had to explain to their 8, 9, and 10-year-olds about slavery, something they weren't expecting to talk about until later on in life.

So, who approved the use of slavery references for the math assignments, the teachers? Surely teachers have to get authorization or have their assignments mandated by the school board, right?

Upon a little research, I found out that the district policy says that worksheets are to be reviewed and approved before being distributed to students, but apparently that didn't happen for this project.

Based on the information given, should the principal be fired? What about the school board president? Should the teachers who issued the assignment be fired? Tell me what you think.

About the Writer

Ed "Mr. Chap" Chapman is the warden of the Insane Asylum Blog and contributor to