.
Slavery lesson in elementary math class sparks outcry
This quesion in a math homework assignment for fourth grade students sparked outrage among some.
February 22nd, 2013
09:33 PM ET

Slavery lesson in elementary math class sparks outcry

By Laura Ly, Special to CNN

(CNN) - A math homework assignment that asked fourth grade students to tally the number of slaves on a ship has sparked outrage among parents and administrators in Manhattan.

The assignment was devised by another group of students, after they apparently expressed interest in the transatlantic slave trade. It required fourth graders to calculate the remainder of those not killed by a mutiny aboard the vessel, and to determine the number of times slaves were beaten in one month.

“This is really inappropriate,” student teacher Aziza Harding told CNN affiliate NY1 on Friday. “It should not be a homework assignment, and I did not want to make copies of this.”

Harding was asked to photocopy the assignment by another teacher, but refused because the questions made her uncomfortable and she thought it desensitized students to the horrors of slavery.

The first question read: "In a slave ship, there are 3,799 slaves. One day, the slaves took over the ship. 1,897 slaves are dead. How many slaves are alive?"

The second question read: "One slave got whipped five times a day. How many times did he get whipped in a month (31 days)? Another slave got whipped nine times a day. How many times did he get whipped in a month? How many times did the two slaves get whipped together in one month?" FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: Black in America • Education • History