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Slavery-related math questions cause controversy

February 22, 2013 3:19:21 PM PST
A New York City principal says she's appalled by a homework assignment that used scenarios about killing and whipping slaves to teach math.

Published reports say Principal Adele Schroeter has ordered sensitivity training for the entire staff of Public School 59 in Manhattan.

Education officials say a teacher asked fourth-graders to write homework questions that blended math and social studies. The teacher then used the students' questions, including the slave-related ones, as homework for the class.

One question stated the number of slaves who died while taking over a ship. It asked how many slaves were still alive. The other said a slave was whipped five times a day and asked students to calculate how many times a month he was whipped.

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