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Teacher Involved in Slavery-Themed 3rd Grade Math Homework Quits


“If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?”

A math problem sent home with third graders in a Georgia elementary school. (Image source: WAGA-TV)

A Georgia teacher involved in assigning third graders slavery-themed math homework has quit, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The unidentified teacher resigned during a human resources investigation into the assignment handed out earlier this month at Beaver Ridge Elementary School, the newspaper reported. School officials said one teacher wrote the questions, which contained references to slaves picking cotton and getting beaten. It was used in four classrooms and meant as a cross-curricular activity to combine math problems with social studies lessons, the school district said.

One question asked, "Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?” Another said, “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?”

School district spokeswoman Sloan Roach confirmed the teacher quit during the course of the probe, which was completed Tuesday. It is unclear what the investigation's findings were, Atlanta's WSB-TV reported.

"The principal will move forward immediately to fill the vacancy created by this resignation," Roach said in a statement. "As this is a personnel matter, the district will not elaborate further."

Roach initially said there is a process to review assignments before they are handed out to students, which wasn't followed in this case.

Last week, protesters called for the immediate firing of all teachers involved with the assignment.

In a separate statement to parents, school principal Jose DeJesus said he encourages teachers to create cross-curricular lessons with the expectation that they "be appropriate and provide true connection between the subject areas."

"That did not occur in this case and we are working to ensure that this does not happen again and that this situation is handled appropriately," DeJesus wrote.

It's not the first time there's been controversy over a Georgia public school assignment: In September, a father complained after his middle school daughter was sent home with an assignment that he said promoted Shariah law.

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