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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Vesbach explains that he found the assignment in an outdated book of worksheets from the 1980s that had been left in the classroom when he started teaching.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 (171-180):
OttawaHoney
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 3:38 PM
Are you Ojibwe, Odawa or Badowatomi? Where are you from? I have never seen anyone on here use the Anishinabe other than myself.... If you don't want to answer it's ok, I'm just curious.


Quoting Autumn07:

There is no use for that word at all. If you want to call me anything, it should be Anishinabe-kwe. That is "native woman" in my language.


Quoting futureshock:


Quoting Autumn07:

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.

Could you explain why it is offensive to you?



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pamelax3
by Gold Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Well this post has been very enlightening, I had no idea "squaw" was a derrogatory term! With that being said the teacher has apologized and has since got rid of the information, time to move on to bigger problems within our schools.

LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Oct. 9, 2012 at 5:11 PM
Perhaps you could explain the joke since I don't see the humor. You mentioned a play on words. I'm asking you to spell it out plainly. What exactly is the harmless funny part? You're a teacher, help me understand.

Quoting jlo1313:

 I'm sorry you missed the joke at the end. 


Quoting LauraKW:

What is the "fun" part?


Quoting jlo1313:


 Sorry, I laughed.  First, it is true, second, it is a fun way to teach math, third...get the stick out of you ass!


 

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LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Oct. 9, 2012 at 5:21 PM
If you're going to insult me at least try to spell it correctly.

Quoting EireLass:

It's the internet, how is it personal? This is about you making sure everyone knows you're an ass. Nothing to do with any sized panties of mine. If you wore those big girl pants, you'd probably have the maturity and cooth that goes along with them, and talk normal to people, explain why you believe the way you do, what things mean to you, etc, rather than act violent. Do you really think people take violent people intellectually serious?

Quoting LauraKW:

Ok, you got butt-hurt because I didn't say "general you" so you keep taking personal cheap shots. I answered a question in an open forum where I am one of the few people who might find themselves in that particular situation. Don't ask public questions if you don't want public answers. I'm sorry you haven't grown into those big girl panties yet but you need to learn not to take things personally.

Quoting EireLass:

Yes, I know. Yes, I said 'not quite right'. I asked a specific person a question. Specific to her, as she had made a statement. You jumped in and said "You would punch me in the face". That's a little bit violent, don't you think? Normal people don't usually jump into a conversation with that being their opening line.

Quoting LauraKW:

Native Americans - I prefer the term Indian - cultures are not the same. We have our own languages - not just dialects, completely different languages. Our own customs, our own histories. Tribes have different governments, different Constitutions, different laws, different treaties with the US govt. We are all indigenous to this hemisphere, and our tribes basically had similar shitty outcomes with the US govt. I'm Cherokee. We tend to have higher or more prominent cheekbones than other tribes. I've noticed that Kiowa tend to have a sharper nasal ridge. I'm not terribly familiar with the Navajo but they seem to have darker skin than Cherokee in general - perhaps because the Cherokee originate from the North Carolina area and lived more in shaded areas than the Navajo who lived in more arid sun-baked lands. Using a word from one language, one culture, when there are hundreds of tribes - using one word to generally address all Native American women is marginalizing at best. I find it ironic that you threw the term "Oriental" in there. Something "not quite right" about the way I talk online - that is hyterical, I'm going to work that into a conversation somewhere.

Quoting EireLass:

"Within the same culture".....I'm saying it this way, rather than create a long drawn out paragraph. I figured you might be smart enough to catch on. Native Americans...not really grouping them together, yet I am. (meaning them as opposed to all people ie. Oriental, African American, etc etc) And because the only ones who've talked about this with experience are (supposed) Native Americans, and have identified they are with a particular tribe. From my experience, no they are not all the same. You have come out with your fists up....I don't think I was first to present you as a negative person. I'd say you did very well on that, yourself. There is something 'not quite right' with a person who talks as you have, online.

Quoting LauraKW:

Did I ever say "squaw" meant "cunt"? "Within the same cultures" - what cultures are you referring to? Do you think all Native Americans are the same, that we all have one culture? You seem very focused on presenting me as a negative person, intent on trying to make this personally about me. Why?

Quoting EireLass:

Well, yes, for you. Because you can only allow yourself for it to mean you're a cunt and nothing more. How is it that it can mean 2 totally different things within the same cultures? Or is it more that some people, such as yourself, will do anything to find negativity in things. That you are by nature, not happy unless you can bring misery into something? That you can only be violent rather than enlightening, etc?

Quoting LauraKW:

Ostensibly "colored" is merely a distiction of skin pigmentation. Though grammatically appropriate, I doubt a black person would tell you it is a term of respect. "Squaw" is not a term of respect no matter how it is spun.

Quoting EireLass:

So even though it only means woman, wouldn't you want to educate your husband and children on that? And wouldn't it really only make you roll your eyes at someone who's trying to be tough (by using derogatory terms) and has no clue that he's addressing you respectfully? If anything, I'd think it would make you laugh in their face.

Quoting fmchavez:

I have only ever been called a squaw in a derogatory manner. That word has horrible connotations despite the fact that it actually just means woman (especially since few who actually use this word know that). I would not be happy if my daughters brought this home. My husband would likely flip his lid (and that takes a lot from him, he doesn't even honk the horn in the car when it's warranted).


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Debmomto2girls
by Platinum Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 5:27 PM
The teacher owned up to it. That should be the end of it. Teachers are extremely overworked and underpaid. He was probably too busy to look. He won't make that mistake again.
jlo1313
by Silver Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Maybe you would rather explain why you find the word Squaw offensive?  

I am aware of the historical derogatory use of the word by ignorant folk, btw.  But then again, vagina is offensive to some people too.  You still have one by definition.

Quoting LauraKW:

Perhaps you could explain the joke since I don't see the humor. You mentioned a play on words. I'm asking you to spell it out plainly. What exactly is the harmless funny part? You're a teacher, help me understand.

Quoting jlo1313:

 I'm sorry you missed the joke at the end. 


Quoting LauraKW:

What is the "fun" part?


Quoting jlo1313:


 Sorry, I laughed.  First, it is true, second, it is a fun way to teach math, third...get the stick out of you ass!


 


Celtic_Dragon
by Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 5:55 PM
1 mom liked this

Yeah, that's not right. Especially in that area of the country as it happens to be a pretty heavily populated Native community. There are many reservations in that area and I think the teacher was being a major dumbass for giving it out.

LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Oct. 9, 2012 at 6:47 PM
1 mom liked this
If you have never been taunted and called a squaw by ignorant assholes you're probably not going to fully understand why the word is offensive. Yes, I have a vagina so if an idiot wanted to call me a vagina they would be anatomically accurate. No, I am not nor will I ever be a squaw.

And what seems to be overlooked in this post is that "squaw" isn't the only offensive term. That was actually not what caught my attention, it was the names given to the characters. They are stereotypical and mocking. And I think that is likely what you are referring to as the "fun" part. Am I wrong?


Quoting jlo1313:

Maybe you would rather explain why you find the word Squaw offensive?  

I am aware of the historical derogatory use of the word by ignorant folk, btw.  But then again, vagina is offensive to some people too.  You still have one by definition.

Quoting LauraKW:

Perhaps you could explain the joke since I don't see the humor. You mentioned a play on words. I'm asking you to spell it out plainly. What exactly is the harmless funny part? You're a teacher, help me understand.



Quoting jlo1313:

 I'm sorry you missed the joke at the end. 



Quoting LauraKW:

What is the "fun" part?



Quoting jlo1313:



 Sorry, I laughed.  First, it is true, second, it is a fun way to teach math, third...get the stick out of you ass!



 


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Celtic_Dragon
by Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

But, you are not a vagina. You HAVE a vagina, but that does not define you as a person. Regarless, it is as offensive as colling someone a pussy, a cunt, a douche, a dick and many other offensive terms. It is made worse because it means you are a Native cunt.

Quoting LauraKW:

If you have never been taunted and called a squaw by ignorant assholes you're probably not going to fully understand why the word is offensive. Yes, I have a vagina so if an idiot wanted to call me a vagina they would be anatomically accurate. No, I am not nor will I ever be a squaw.

And what seems to be overlooked in this post is that "squaw" isn't the only offensive term. That was actually not what caught my attention, it was the names given to the characters. They are stereotypical and mocking. And I think that is likely what you are referring to as the "fun" part. Am I wrong?


Quoting jlo1313:

Maybe you would rather explain why you find the word Squaw offensive?  

I am aware of the historical derogatory use of the word by ignorant folk, btw.  But then again, vagina is offensive to some people too.  You still have one by definition.

Quoting LauraKW:

Perhaps you could explain the joke since I don't see the humor. You mentioned a play on words. I'm asking you to spell it out plainly. What exactly is the harmless funny part? You're a teacher, help me understand.



Quoting jlo1313:

 I'm sorry you missed the joke at the end. 



Quoting LauraKW:

What is the "fun" part?



Quoting jlo1313:



 Sorry, I laughed.  First, it is true, second, it is a fun way to teach math, third...get the stick out of you ass!



 



EireLass
by Ruby Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Yes. A mis-spelled word equals violence.

Quoting LauraKW:

If you're going to insult me at least try to spell it correctly.
Quoting EireLass:

It's the internet, how is it personal? This is about you making sure everyone knows you're an ass. Nothing to do with any sized panties of mine. If you wore those big girl pants, you'd probably have the maturity and cooth that goes along with them, and talk normal to people, explain why you believe the way you do, what things mean to you, etc, rather than act violent. Do you really think people take violent people intellectually serious?

Quoting LauraKW:

Ok, you got butt-hurt because I didn't say "general you" so you keep taking personal cheap shots. I answered a question in an open forum where I am one of the few people who might find themselves in that particular situation. Don't ask public questions if you don't want public answers. I'm sorry you haven't grown into those big girl panties yet but you need to learn not to take things personally.
Quoting EireLass:

Yes, I know. Yes, I said 'not quite right'. I asked a specific person a question. Specific to her, as she had made a statement. You jumped in and said "You would punch me in the face". That's a little bit violent, don't you think? Normal people don't usually jump into a conversation with that being their opening line.

Quoting LauraKW:

Native Americans - I prefer the term Indian - cultures are not the same. We have our own languages - not just dialects, completely different languages. Our own customs, our own histories. Tribes have different governments, different Constitutions, different laws, different treaties with the US govt. We are all indigenous to this hemisphere, and our tribes basically had similar shitty outcomes with the US govt. I'm Cherokee. We tend to have higher or more prominent cheekbones than other tribes. I've noticed that Kiowa tend to have a sharper nasal ridge. I'm not terribly familiar with the Navajo but they seem to have darker skin than Cherokee in general - perhaps because the Cherokee originate from the North Carolina area and lived more in shaded areas than the Navajo who lived in more arid sun-baked lands. Using a word from one language, one culture, when there are hundreds of tribes - using one word to generally address all Native American women is marginalizing at best. I find it ironic that you threw the term "Oriental" in there. Something "not quite right" about the way I talk online - that is hyterical, I'm going to work that into a conversation somewhere.
Quoting EireLass:

"Within the same culture".....I'm saying it this way, rather than create a long drawn out paragraph. I figured you might be smart enough to catch on. Native Americans...not really grouping them together, yet I am. (meaning them as opposed to all people ie. Oriental, African American, etc etc) And because the only ones who've talked about this with experience are (supposed) Native Americans, and have identified they are with a particular tribe. From my experience, no they are not all the same. You have come out with your fists up....I don't think I was first to present you as a negative person. I'd say you did very well on that, yourself. There is something 'not quite right' with a person who talks as you have, online.

Quoting LauraKW:

Did I ever say "squaw" meant "cunt"? "Within the same cultures" - what cultures are you referring to? Do you think all Native Americans are the same, that we all have one culture? You seem very focused on presenting me as a negative person, intent on trying to make this personally about me. Why?
Quoting EireLass:

Well, yes, for you. Because you can only allow yourself for it to mean you're a cunt and nothing more. How is it that it can mean 2 totally different things within the same cultures? Or is it more that some people, such as yourself, will do anything to find negativity in things. That you are by nature, not happy unless you can bring misery into something? That you can only be violent rather than enlightening, etc?

Quoting LauraKW:

Ostensibly "colored" is merely a distiction of skin pigmentation. Though grammatically appropriate, I doubt a black person would tell you it is a term of respect. "Squaw" is not a term of respect no matter how it is spun.
Quoting EireLass:

So even though it only means woman, wouldn't you want to educate your husband and children on that? And wouldn't it really only make you roll your eyes at someone who's trying to be tough (by using derogatory terms) and has no clue that he's addressing you respectfully? If anything, I'd think it would make you laugh in their face.

Quoting fmchavez:

I have only ever been called a squaw in a derogatory manner. That word has horrible connotations despite the fact that it actually just means woman (especially since few who actually use this word know that). I would not be happy if my daughters brought this home. My husband would likely flip his lid (and that takes a lot from him, he doesn't even honk the horn in the car when it's warranted).

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