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Teacher Assigns Extremely Offensive Math Homework

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Teacher Assigns Extremely Offensive Math Homework

Lakeland Union High School Math Assignment Has Lac Du Flambeau Members Upset Over Cultural Insensitivity


Lakeland Union High School Homework

An offensive math homework assignment issued to students at Lakeland Union High School has members of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in Wisconsin urging administrators to bring more cultural sensitivity to the school’s curriculum, Indian Country Today Media Network reports.

Abbey Thompson, a member of the Lac du Flambeau Tribe, posted a photo of her son Noah’s completed homework assignment to Facebook, attracting inflammatory responses from across the country and Canada.

“What happened after Chief Short Cake Died?” is the question posed at the top of the assignment — the answer to which was “Squaw Bury Short Cake.”

Richard Vesbach, a third-year math teacher at LUHS and the one responsible for assigning the homework, has since written a number of apology letters.

Vesbach explains that he found the assignment in an outdated book of worksheets from the 1980s that had been left in the classroom when he started teaching. He says he has gotten rid of the book.

“None of that excuses what has happened and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Vesbach wrote. “No one else is to blame but me. As a result, LUHS has appropriately sent me home for the day. I recommended that they not pay me.”

School administrators would not comment on whether Vesbach would face further disciplinary action.

In January, a suburban Atlanta teacher resigned following an investigation over third-grade students being assigned math homework that included word problems about slavery.

One of the problems read: "Each tree has 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?"

Another was: "If Frederick got two beatings each day, how many beatings did he get in one week?"

lakeland union high school math assignment

by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Replies (11-20):
FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:26 AM
1 mom liked this

I didn't find it offensive.  

The teacher explained and apologized.

Mom needs to move on.

desertlvn
by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:30 AM

 

This.

I'd be willing to bet the teacher saw a fun way to teach and didn't read the paper completely. There are worse things.

Quoting Donna6503:

This

Yes, it is offensive but I don't feel that it is extremely offensive. The teacher did the right thing with the written apology.

(I can think of more things that can be classified as extremely offensive; more so, than this test)


Quoting pittawadda:

Well, it's offensive but he totally owned up to it which I think was right. So I think the issue is resolved.


ChancesMommy07
by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:32 AM
3 moms liked this
If someone was to walk up to me at a powwow and call me a squaw I'm certainly not going to laugh (and it has happened) nor would I be happy to see it on my sons homework. But he did apologize
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specialwingz
by Bronze Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:33 AM
1 mom liked this

Honestly, I think the tackiness goes beyond the Indian slur.  There was no reason to stack the test with references to slaves and beatings.  It's a Math class not a history class.

Euphoric
by Bazinga! on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:49 AM

 

Quoting pittawadda:

Well, it's offensive but he totally owned up to it which I think was right. So I think the issue is resolved.

 

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MentorMom1
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:05 AM
2 moms liked this

I think one of the larger lessons is that teachers don't always review material before handing it out to kids. Call it lazy if you want to. This man used old material way past its expiration date!. He should have gone over it first and deemed it unacceptable. Why assume it's okay just because some other teacher used it and it's still sitting in a file drawer. It's like giving kids medicine after the expiration date. Who would do that?

I've even seen teachers teach inaccurate facts out of textbooks without giving a disclaimer. What? No brain?

BTW, SQUAW BURY SHORTCAKE isn't even proper English. It's "Tonto" talk. How demeaning. 

JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:27 AM
3 moms liked this

 It's offensive because it was once believed (and still is believed by some) that the word "squaw" was derived from and Algonquian word that meant "vagina." So, it would be like calling a woman a "c*nt."  It isn't actually true, but that is why people get riled up about it.

rfurlongg
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:30 AM
I second these ladies.

Quoting Donna6503:

This



Yes, it is offensive but I don't feel that it is extremely offensive. The teacher did the right thing with the written apology.



(I can think of more things that can be classified as extremely offensive; more so, than this test)




Quoting pittawadda:

Well, it's offensive but he totally owned up to it which I think was right. So I think the issue is resolved.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Autumn07
by Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:35 AM

The word squaw is offensive to me.  I'd be angry if my son or daughter had homework like that. I'd also be angry if this was turned around to include any other races. That is not cool in my book. Of course it's not offensive to non native people, because they will NEVER understand where we come from and how long it has taken us to get here. It is cultural insensitivity.

jcrew6
by Gold Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:39 AM
1 mom liked this
The school has handled the issue. Its now a NON issue. Yet, the teacher who verbally attacked a teen for wearing a Romney Ryan T shirt. Is she still on the payroll?
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