A charter school teacher in Washington, D.C. was fired Thursday after assigning math problems containing violent and morbid scenarios to third graders.
The unnamed teacher at Trinidad Center City School passed out math problems with questions that included, "bloodthirsty aliens then sucked the blood of 828 teachers and left them for dead" and "2,555 fire ants crawled up my nose and built a nest in my brain. I woke up screaming the next morning."
Another question asked about a SWAT team member who "killed 163 terrorists, 296 murderers and 206 arsonists. How many criminals did he kill on average each day?"
"I was absolutely distressed," Dr. Beverley Wheeler, the head of Center City Public Charter Schools, told WUSA-TV.
One question that drew particular concern said: "Tilda Tiger had many hungry children to feed on Thanksgiving Day. She caught 169 Africans, 526 Americans and 196 Indians. She then put the people equally into nine enormous ovens to bake. How many desperate people were in each oven?"
"It doesn't follow anything we do. We are about character, excellence and service and I found them to be violent and racist," Wheeler said.
Wheeler said the teacher, instead of using the school's own math resources, downloaded the questions off the website homeschoolingparadise.com.
Last month, parents in New York were outraged when their 5-year-old daughter brought home a vocabulary assignment that included the words "gun" and "rob."
Wheeler said the offense was worthy of firing because parents trust the school to give their children appropriate assignments. The teacher, she said, used "incredibly bad judgment."
Some parents, however, reportedly said the teacher did not want to use the problems but was directed to do so by the school, an allegation Wheeler said was "not true."
Read more of the word problems assigned below:
- My 3 friends and I were caught and tied up by 1023 screaming cannibals in a jungle last night. Soon we were feeling terribly itchy because of the mosquitoes. We begged the cannibals to scratch us. 219 cannibals refused because they were busy cutting vegetables. The rest of them, however, surrounded us in equal numbers and began to scratch us with their teeth, just like dogs. It felt good! How many cannibals scratched me?
- Human terrorists landed on Planet Xintaks and abducted Princess Txsclotyl. The enraged aliens hurled 1420 asteroids at 7 terrorist training camps on Earth. 482 asteroids landed harmlessly in the Pacific Ocean. However, the rest of the asteroids smashed into each camp in equal numbers. How many asteroids smashed into each camp?
- John's father gave him 1359 marbles on his birthday. John swallowed 585 marbles and died. 9 of John's friends came for his funeral the next day. John's grieving father gave the remaining marbles to John's friends in equal numbers. How many marbles did each friend get?
- My brother and sister kept 263 trolls in a huge cage in our backyard. They went into the jungle yesterday and caught more trolls. When they came back home, they brought back 8 sacks and 7 boxes. There were 8 crying trolls in each sack and 7 shrieking trolls in each box. They threw the trolls into the cage with the other trolls. How many trolls are in the cage now?