The Los Angeles United School District is taking administrative measures after parents expressed concerns over a math assignment that featured slavery, cotton picking and slave masters.
Parent Kelly Gray was made aware of the math assignment Feb. 8 after her 7-year-old daughter asked for help with it. Her daughter, along with other second-grade Windsor Hills Elementary School students, received the assignment coinciding with the start of Black History Month.
In an exclusive Saturday, Feb. 11, interview with NBC Los Angeles, Gray said she did not understand why the math question had to focus on slavery.
“When I read it, I immediately told her she would not complete that assignment,” Gray recalls. “It’s definitely disturbing using terms like ‘plantation,’ ‘master’ … My daughter doesn’t know what these things mean.”
Even though the parent was outraged, she did not hold the teacher accountable. She found out that other students took home the assignment after she posted a photo of the worksheet on Facebook, reported NBC LA.
The 7-year-old’s grandmother, Karol Gray, wondered, “What are we teaching our children?” after seeing the assignment.
“Someone could have said, ‘No! Are we really giving this assignment?'” Gray says. “I can’t image a month of any year of any era when this would be appropriate.”
In wake of the controversy, District Superintendent Michelle King said in a statement, “The district takes this matter seriously and is investigating it and will take appropriate administrative measures.”