An investigation is underway within the Los Angeles Unified School District after a math homework assignment for second graders used slavery as its setting during Black History Month.
NBC reports that the Unified School District is taking administrative measures against a teacher who gave a word problem to 7-year-olds that featured slaves, cotton picking, “masters,” “the missus,” and the “Big House.” The insensitive math problem read, “The master needed 192 slaves to work on [a] plantation in the cotton fields. The fields could fill 75 bags of cotton. Only 96 slaves were able to pick cotton that day. The missus needed them in the Big House to prepare [sic] for the Annual Picnic. How many more slaves are needed in the cotton fields.”
One parent immediately took action after her daughter asked for help with it. Kelly Gray told reporters, “When I read it, I immediately told her she would not complete that assignment. It’s definitely disturbing using terms like ‘plantation,’ ‘master’…My daughter doesn’t know what these things mean.” Gray posted the assignment on her social media, prompting the District Superintendent Michelle King to release a statement.
The statement read, “L.A. Unified is committed to providing a safe, welcoming, nurturing and secure learning environment for our students. All employees are expected to treat students with respect. The District takes this matter seriously, is investigating it and will take appropriate administrative measures.”
The teacher who gave the assignment has not been identified, but the Los Angeles Unified School District is set to launch an investigation at Windsor Hills Elementary School.