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Slavery Math Problems Outrage Parents
School asks students to tally slave deaths and whippings
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 22, 2013 3:23 PM CST
Some teachers have gotten a stern talking to.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Some New York City teachers have found themselves in hot water over a math assignment for fourth graders featuring questions like, "In a slave ship, there can be 3,799 slaves. One day, the slaves took over the ship. 1,897 are dead. How many slaves are alive?" The assignment came to light when a substitute teacher balked at photocopying the ditto last week. "It shouldn't be a homework assignment," Aziza Harding explains. Instead, she took it to her graduate professor at NYU, who in turn contacted NY1.

"My first thought was, I don't believe it," the professor says. In fact, the sheet had already gone home with another fourth-grade class; the questions had been written by the students as part of a slavery lesson. But parents and educators are appalled all the same, saying it's hardly the best introduction to the horrors of slavery. "I'm appalled by this," the school's principal said. The Department of Education released a statement saying it was "obviously unacceptable," and promising disciplinary action against the teachers responsible.

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Showing 3 of 74 comments
Rational.-Anarchist
Feb 23, 2013 5:02 PM CST
First, the whole thing is based on a premise that is not only ridiculous but also untrue. I'm not saying slavery didn't or doesn't exist, but just that there never was a rebellion on any of the ships. Two point I would like to make here: First, there never would have been any black slaves in America if the other, stronger African slaves hadn't started it. Second, Never did one single Southern ship bring slaves to America. The slavers were exclusively ships from Northern cities. Look it up. The proof is there for anyone with any ambition and interest to find.Don't expect me to do the work for you. I don't work for free.
xxxxxxxx
Feb 23, 2013 3:08 PM CST
Slavery....what's that? Oh, you mean the activity that EVERY country (including blacks and indians) were a part of since almost the beginning of time? You mean it wasn't the big bad USA that invented this? No it wasn't. This is hard to believe for so many low-data people. In fact, right now blacks are enslaving blacks in three countries within the African continent and have for years. Why would they do that? To force them to work in cocoa plantations that supply 70% of the worlds cocoa while making HUGE profits. If you eat or drink anything with chocolate in it or use baking cocoa in recipes, then you are supporting a slavery that puts a $20 value on people while abusing, raping and murdering them. But where is Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and the other "so concerned" rights activist desiring to help their people? uhhh....well....now that's a good question.
kj_nm
Feb 23, 2013 6:31 AM CST
don't think this is a real story but an urban legend. Various variants of the story have been around for years, and its an almost word for word copy of another story that appeared on this website about six months ago