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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Vesbach explains that he found the assignment in an outdated book of worksheets from the 1980s that had been left in the classroom when he started teaching.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 (41-50):
AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 2:22 PM
It actually took me a while to get it. My humor is usually coarser.
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angelmj
by Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Ha, I'm actually 50% Cherokee and am not offended by this. It's not like the paper asked "What did the Cherokee do when he got sad?" and the answer was  "Cry A Trail of Tears." How ever the fact that they word "Squaw" is on there is no good for children.

 this is my baby I'm pregnant with and my 4 year old daughter Kiley <3

mommie_x0x
by Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 2:33 PM
I've never heard the word Squaw before
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Autumn07
by Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 2:40 PM
1 mom liked this

I'd talk to my child's teacher and the principal right away.  I wasn't trying to own it. I'm telling you how it is when I hear something like that. I'm telling you how it is when I, as a native woman, read something like this post. How can EVERYONE (and I'm thinking you mean the general public) experience it if they don't what they are doing is wrong? If my husband didn't know better and called me his squaw, I would not be happy about that. But he would never do that. He's white and has always had respect for my culture. Those who choose or don't know any better about a culture are the ones who need to be shown that it isn't right. If they don't know something about another's culture, maybe it would best if they step back, be quiet and just observe.

What truly strikes me when I read these types of posts about native people, (and believe me, I've seen a few on cafemom) is that people think we should just sit back and let these types of things slide. "Oh what's the big deal, yada, yada." I've heard so many excuses. I just can't sit back. I would never in a million years write a post to offend another race. I know what it's like to be hurt. Those words scar inside. Now I could let it fester and be angry about it. I could let it darken my heart and in turn cause me to be racist against others. White people, black people, asian people, etc. But I don't and I will never let it. Why? It's because I have a white husband. And my children are part of him, and part of me. It's also like a thorn in my side. And this is my way of pulling it out.

And that was my two cents. :) I'm not trying to be mean or anything. I'm just showing you how it affects me, a fellow cafemom member, a native person and a mom.






Quoting EireLass:

What would you do if your child had homework like that?

Remember.....you don't own victimization in cultural insensitivity. Everyone experiences it.

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.



Autumn07
by Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 2:54 PM

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?


Pema_Jampa
by SxyTaco on Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:37 PM
1 mom liked this

Why make the homework racial? There were no other questions available? Or shoot just have the Math problems? 

FAIL~

JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 4:00 PM

 No, that's not exactly what I'm saying.  That explanation (that the word squaw originates from a word that means vagina) was first printed in a book written in the early 1970s.  That explanation really gained traction in the 1990s.  There was even a woman on Oprah who explained that's what it meant.  In reality, it is derived from a northeastern native tribe and really did mean "woman" or "young woman."

So, people who are offended aren't necessarily just looking to be offended.  They likely heard that it is like calling a woman a c-word.  I would find that offensive too.

Quoting EireLass:

So what you're saying is, the people getting riled up about don't even know what they're getting riled up about. Sounds like the riled need to learn.

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

 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.


 

Susan0805
by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 4:03 PM
I wonder too, is it bad that i actually thought it was kind of cute. "Runs and hides" lol

Quoting futureshock:

Why is it so offensive?

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LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Oct. 8, 2012 at 4:21 PM
Seriously?

Quoting futureshock:

Why is it so offensive?

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LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Oct. 8, 2012 at 4:24 PM
Please explain the joke. What exactly is funny here?

Quoting Lizardannie1966:

lol There's nothing offensive about it IMO. It was made out to be a silly joke. If the content of the joke itself was derogatory or insulting toward the Native American people, I could see the problem but it's not.

We need to maybe investigate the idea of over-correcting some political correctness's.

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