Menu

Slavery-math questions cause uproar at NYC school

A school principal said she's "appalled" by a homework assignment that used scenarios about killing and whipping slaves to teach math.

Adele Schroeter has ordered sensitivity training for the entire staff of Public School 59 in Manhattan following last month's assignment, the Daily News reported Friday.

A teacher had asked fourth-graders to write homework questions that blended math and social studies, education officials said. The teacher then used the students' questions, including the slave-related ones, as homework for the class.

One question stated the number of slaves who died while taking over a ship. It asked how many slaves were still alive. The other said a slave was whipped five times a day and asked students to calculate how many times a month he was whipped.

A student-teacher said she was shocked by the wording and later refused to hand out the worksheet in another class.

"I looked at the questions and was like, `Wow! This is kind of inappropriate,"' Aziza Harding told the New York Post, saying the questions contained "desensitized" violence.

"I just found it alarming that this would happen in a state that you would think was more liberal," said Harding.

The Department of Education said the situation was "obviously unacceptable." It said "appropriate disciplinary action" would be taken.

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 4.20% dw 4.30%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.28% dw 3.30%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.72% up 4.60%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.53% up 3.34%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.64% up 3.58%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.38% -- 4.38%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.11% -- 4.11%  
$30K Loan Graph 4.98% dw 4.99%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.39% dw 4.40%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.39% dw 4.40%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.90% -- 2.90%  
36 M Used Graph 3.41% up 3.40%  
48 M New Graph 3.16% -- 3.16%  
48 M Used Graph 2.91% up 2.90%  
60 M New Graph 3.16% dw 3.17%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.35% -- 0.35%  
1 yr Graph 0.67% -- 0.67%  
5 yr Graph 1.38% -- 1.38%