A Florida father is up in arms over a class worksheet his fourth-grader received that stated that "only schools in white districts" get new textbooks.
It was part of a story in a "cause and effect" lesson Tim Marden's son was assigned at Newberry Elementary in north-central Florida:
One day some time ago, a boy named Jack was doing his homework. His mother began to examine Jack's textbook. A puzzled look clouded her face. She noticed that the book was worn and missing a dozen pages.
The next day, she told the school's principal that Jack deserved better materials. He agreed, but said that only schools in white districts got new texts. Schools in African American areas got old, damaged books.
So Jack's mother met with a lawyer. They filed a legal case, claiming unequal and unfair treatment toward Jack. A judge decided that Jack's mother was right. The board of education agreed to revise the system for providing materials to schools in the district.
Marden told TheBlaze he asked his child's teacher about the worksheet, and the teacher agreed it was troubling and "developmentally inappropriate."
Alachua County Public Schools spokeswoman Jackie Johnson told TheBlaze the exercise comes from the state's Florida Standards, which she described as "pretty much Common Core standards with some changes." She did not comment about the "appropriateness" of the example used.
Johnson said the goal of the unit is for students to "understand that the right of equal opportunity is or was protected by the Civil Rights Act, integration and changing laws; Martin Luther King Jr.; [and] the U.S. Constitution."
"Any parent, student or staff member who objects to an instructional material may also request that the material be re-evaluated at the school level, then at the district level," Johnson said.
Marden said he has no objection to his child learning about racism, but said the lesson should be more specific rather than the "obtuse nature" of the worksheet.
"It's just a made-up story, it lacks concrete, fact-based information, " he said. "We have so much history, why not use it?"
Pearson Education, the publisher of the lesson, did not respond to requests for comment from TheBlaze.
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