Teacher under siege for slavery math question resigns

The AJC is reporting the Gwinnett third-grade teacher under siege for the slavery-themed math questions has resigned.

As we know in any profession, there are freely chosen resignations and there are highly recommended resignations. I wonder which this was.

According to the AJC:

A Beaver Ridge Elementary School teacher involved in giving slavery themed math questions to students has resigned, a Gwinnett County Schools spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.

The unidentified teacher quit during a human resources investigation into the origin of the homework assignment. School officials said one teacher created the slave math questions, which used references to beatings and picking cotton to link a history lesson about Frederick Douglass to math computation. It was used in four classrooms.

Sloan Roach, a spokeswoman for Gwinnett Schools, said the teacher who resigned is one of four under a personnel investigation. She said the school probe concluded late Tuesday. “The principal will move forward immediately to fill the vacancy created by this resignation,” Roach said in a statement. “As this is a personnel matter, the district will not elaborate further.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

146 comments Add your comment

Dr. Proud Black Man

January 18th, 2012
1:42 pm

IF this teacher didn’t have enough common sense to come up with better questions this is probably a good thing.

Pluto

January 18th, 2012
1:52 pm

There, now all of you blood thirsty vigilantes should be happy. Another person has lost their job. Ding-dong the witch is dead!

WAR

January 18th, 2012
2:00 pm

Dr. PBM

ive created some controversial assessments as well. many of them on purpose because i was teaching a particular unit or lesson. when ive done it without intent, i corrected course, apologized and moved on. “intent” should be part of the argument but it isnt. black folks got mad and lord knows when they get angry about math problems and the language used somebody better get fired. i wish blacks had this kind of enthusiasm about their dropout, drug, and pregnancy rates.

Former History Teacher

January 18th, 2012
2:00 pm

This teacher did not appear to be a qualified teacher and it is good he/she is gone. Diversity training will not instill common sense and that was a major part of the problem. I have been through diversity training for educators in 3 different states and found it to be almost useless in the classroom. Common sense and an open mind were more essential. The problem here seems to be unqualified teachers and not a lack of diversity training.

Dr. Proud Black Man

January 18th, 2012
2:08 pm

@WAR

” i wish blacks had this kind of enthusiasm about their dropout, drug, and pregnancy rates.”

And I wish whites would quit stereotyping us. Btw why are you a racist White Aryan Resistance?

Dr. Proud Black Man

January 18th, 2012
2:10 pm

@ Former History Teacher

Well said!

WAR

January 18th, 2012
2:13 pm

FHT

i agree. even in diversity training people relied on prejudices and stereotypes through jokes and other remarks because they were uncomfortable. waste of time and money because we never got to really talk about issues and how to solve them.

WAR

January 18th, 2012
2:18 pm

PBM
lolololololololol. would you be surprised if i told you that i too am a “proud black man”? but then you would probably call me an uncle tom (without reading the book or knowing anything about the character). or what if im a young black woman, who is an educator and tired of blacks complaining and fighting about math problems in a class and not the number of little black girls who are discouraged from taking difficult math classes. what if i was a young white teacher who watches blacks each day complain about their child’s grades, but dont seem to enforce the value of studying? alot of what ifs, but you dont know my gender or race or religion or culture or anything. just my words.

so PBM…who is really being racist?

WAR

January 18th, 2012
2:20 pm

PBM

just got the white aryan resistance thing…definitely funny now! lmaoayda!

darattler

January 18th, 2012
2:28 pm

@War – I wish more whites had this kind of enthusiasm about stopping child molestation, serial murders, bombing American citizens and incest.

carlosgvv

January 18th, 2012
2:29 pm

If the teacher is white, this is easy to understand. If black he/she will get Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to come and demonstrate while he/she sues the school for racism.

Frankie

January 18th, 2012
2:33 pm

carlosgvv is that the only thing you can think of to say…hell you have said it on evry related blog abuot this subject….we get it your an ignorant racist and you don’t knw any better…..we get it

Will management resign as well?

January 18th, 2012
2:34 pm

Wasn’t this partly the failure of management at the school as well? Apparently teachers were rushed, pressed for time, told to ‘integrate’ their math lessons with social studies but not given any training in how to do so. The lesson also did not undergo the mandatory content review…whose fault was that?

It just seems really easy to scapegoat one or a few teachers here – and then pretend that everything is okay once a few people are fired! – when what we are really looking at is a much larger breakdown in teacher training and oversight. Where were the managers in all of this? What was their job???

Shouldn’t the principal have to resign too?

WAR

January 18th, 2012
2:36 pm

darattler

you really think child molestation, serial murders, bombing American citizens, and incest is somehow exclusively white? you really wrote that? i guess whites dont like southern foods? i guess blacks make up the majority of food stamp recipients? i guess whites cant jump? i guess blacks dont like swimming? i even bet you believe that black history month is in february because whites wanted it in the shortest, coldest month of the year? you sound like “proud black man”. look at my response to him @2:18 and take it as an address to you too.

WAR

January 18th, 2012
2:38 pm

will management

lessons rarely go under review. not enough time or manpower. some of the other teachers who worked on this should have caught this grave mistake and corrected it. so to answer your question directly…no.

Prof

January 18th, 2012
2:43 pm

In the general interest of peace and harmony, I just Googled “White Aryan Resistance,” cited by Dr. Proud Black Man. It is indeed a white supremacist organization headed by a former KKK leader, based in California, and well within the focus of the FBI. Maybe, WAR [acronym for, say, Wesley Arnold Rolfdoogle?], some other moniker is in order? For your 2:18 pm post doesn’t sound in line with that viewpoint!

WAR

January 18th, 2012
2:45 pm

darattler

oprah, dc snipers, umar farouk abdulmutallab, perry… examples of your claims and all black.

Dr. Proud Black Man

January 18th, 2012
2:45 pm

@ WAR

Based on your 2:18 response I don’t have to guess AT ALL who you are. Like we say in Georgia, ” a hit dog will holla!”

WAR

January 18th, 2012
2:50 pm

prof

i appreciate the benefit of the doubt. but i cant change it simply because some fools took the letters WAR and sullied it. although none of them listed below are acronyms for me, here are other acronyms of WAR:

WAR We Are Right
WAR What A Relief
WAR Web Application Archive
WAR War and Romance (defunct Wrestling Promotion in Japan)
WAR Washington Association of Realtors
WAR Weekly Activity Report
WAR Willing, Able and Ready
WAR With All Risks
WAR Wide Angle Reflection
WAR Work Authorization Request
WAR Wartime Asset Redistribution
WAR Work Acceptance Record
WAR Women Against Risk (Harm Reduction Project)

Beverly Fraud

January 18th, 2012
2:51 pm

“This teacher did not appear to be a qualified teacher and it is good he/she is gone. Diversity training will not instill common sense and that was a major part of the problem.”

Well if these questions were par for the course, he/she probably wasn’t the brightest bulb in the light factory. And yes, diversity training can’t fix that.

Just a guess here, but since Gwinnett was most likely hell-bent on finding a scapegoat/way out of this mess, the fact that that the teacher resigned (and perhaps cut off some major avenues of recourse) indicates that perhaps this teacher isn’t a master strategist, in or out of the classroom.

WAR

January 18th, 2012
2:59 pm

beaver ridge has some pretty good CRCT math scores. then again with all the cheating thats been going on lately who can really trust the data. but if the data is true, a few slave, jew, and redneck jokes wont hurt as long as the kids keep learning.

anyone agree?

WAR

January 18th, 2012
3:00 pm

darattler………

John Konop

January 18th, 2012
3:02 pm

It was obviously not a very good implementation of an idea. Yet the concept of combining other subjects into math has merit. The biggest problem is how to many times now we have become so harsh on mistakes people make. All of us have made mistakes and hopefully we learn from them. We should focus more on solutions over harsh punishment. This lack of allowing rational solutions for people verse harsh punishment has lead to the bizarre discipline rules in schools, harsh drug laws, mandatory sentencing ……..And at the end all it has done is create more problems than it has solved.

I do not know the teacher or the details other than what I read. But I would guess from what I have read she was only trying to enhance education not attempting to hurt students. It would of made more sense to work with the teacher on sensitivity issues rather than pin a “Scarlet Letter” on her.

WAR

January 18th, 2012
3:04 pm

folks its about that time and its been fun but until then remember: WAR keeps peace.

Inman Park Boy

January 18th, 2012
3:05 pm

Pure bullying, that’s what it was.

Beverly Fraud

January 18th, 2012
3:09 pm

I hope for the teacher’s sake, he/she consulted with an EXPERT opinion before resigning.

tim

January 18th, 2012
3:11 pm

The teacher should of told everyone to go to hell.

Beverly Fraud

January 18th, 2012
3:12 pm

Still I wonder; how many TENS OF THOUSANDS of children’s educational outcomes would have been ENHANCED in Atlanta, if the NAACP had been JUST as vocal about the cheating in Atlanta Public Schools when AJC reporter Paul Donsky BLEW THE LID OFF THE facade way back in 2001?

Yes 2001. It was known THEN.

Dr. Proud Black Man

January 18th, 2012
3:19 pm

@ WAR

Yes it has been fun but once again, “a hit dog will holla.” lol…

drew (former teacher)

January 18th, 2012
3:24 pm

OK…here’s one: A slave, a jew, a redneck, and a mexican walk into a bar…

Beverly Fraud

January 18th, 2012
3:34 pm

Ok…here’s one. 3 sentient beings enter into a bar. An ambiguous conversation, of an undetermined nature, occurs between the 3 of them.

How many special interest groups are offended by what was said?

Unfunded pension

January 18th, 2012
3:34 pm

NAACP can hang another scalp. Didn’t do a dangbthing for blacknchildren in the process. The NAACP is just perpetually offended and chronically ineffective.

Drake

January 18th, 2012
3:52 pm

I guess US History teachers will just be skipping the Civil War now?

Better ignore Columbus in the Caribbean too.

And the Salem Witch Trials for good measure.

Drake

January 18th, 2012
3:54 pm

This teacher did not appear to be a qualified teacher and it is good he/she is gone

You’re basing this on one assignment that ties math lessons to a part of America’s history….an accurate part of America’s history.

Ron Burgundy

January 18th, 2012
3:54 pm

Again we as a society pile on if there is a hint of racism but celebrate Muhammad Ali(draft dodger and womanizer), MLK (man of God who is also a womanizer), Bill Clinton (perjurist and womanizr).

I thin maybe we should take this same vitrol and put it towards other society issues like poor parenting.

To Carlosgvv from Good Mom

January 18th, 2012
3:58 pm

The teacher is a Hispanic male.

grandpa

January 18th, 2012
4:01 pm

This teacher, I believe, did use bad judgement. We live in the Atlanta area where the”Race Card” gets played any time someone feels like it. The NAACP does more to stir up trouble then good. That’s the way they keep their jobs, stirring it up. People should be allowed to confront people who use bad judgement in a way that doesn’t make our state look like the fools we are.

To Grandpa from Good Mom

January 18th, 2012
4:09 pm

Gramps you say “People should be allowed to confront people who use bad judgement in a way that doesn’t make our state look like the fools we are.”

That sounds like you are advocating sweeping it under the rug and hiding the bad. If, as you say, we are fools, then our state deserves the bad rap and we should own it or work to change it.

To Drake from Good Mom

January 18th, 2012
4:11 pm

Drake you say “You’re basing this on one assignment that ties math lessons to a part of America’s history….an accurate part of America’s history.”

Drake, where and when did slaves pick oranges in the USA? Please enlighten us.

masterprince32

January 18th, 2012
4:14 pm

You all have twisted this in every kind of way possible Would anyone be complaining if I sent homework with my 3rd grade students.” If 10 Jews were working in a concentration camp and 5 were beaten and 3 were sent to a gas chamber how many jews would be left…?” If any of your 3RD GRADERS brought home this kind school work I think you all would have a problem! People have a lot to say when the shoe is on the other foot. You all know deep in your hearts this was absurd!!!!
Fredrick Douglass was not taught as a slave. He’s taught as an abolitionist Why couldn’t they just stay on those lines? The 3rd grade Bio in which teachers are to use doesn’t even contain in info about him being beaten. I say again these were Third Graders not High School or college students.

KIM

January 18th, 2012
4:20 pm

The losers here are the kids in this kind, meek, culturally diverse teacher’s classroom. So, Proud Black whatever, how do you ever expect all people to revere all people? Your moniker suggest it all: you are biased. And, unfortunately, others like you will forever fall on the horrors of your ancestors to justify your pityful excuse of worth. Additionally, I say to GCPS: shame on YOU. You could have used this as a teaching moment far different than the lesson learned. The lesson is not what you intended: GC is NOT an employer of choice. An employer of choice would have sat down the parents and teachers and had a discussion about what this paper suggested. It could have been handled by everyone far differently. And everyone would have one. Now no one did…especially the kids.

KIM

January 18th, 2012
4:23 pm

masterprince32

January 18th, 2012
4:27 pm

For all of you who feel these questions were ok to be sent home for 3rd Grade work. Please explain why? Yes we will always play the race card because it the race card is dealt. Situations that happen to our ethnic group you do not hear happening with any other! Last reason why race is a factor. Just think african americans have only been able to vote in this country for 47years. So why would we not think about is this way. No one uses history and math about the Asian camps we kept during the war.

masterprince32

January 18th, 2012
4:29 pm

@ DR. Whitey! Dude look at what you said University President!! Not 3rd graders!!!

White Man with Moderate Self Esteem

January 18th, 2012
4:35 pm

Dr. Proud Black Man, why are you so proud?

carlosgvv

January 18th, 2012
4:49 pm

Frankie – 2:33

Calling me names does not invalidate anything I have said and will NOT make it go away.

  

January 18th, 2012
5:07 pm

Situations that happen to our ethnic group you do not hear happening with any other

Ahhh..playing the victim role, and attempting to identify with an entire ethnic group.

Way to stay classy there.

Michael

January 18th, 2012
5:23 pm

I’ve been in Georgia 25 years and these recurring stories always make me smile. It’s like I’m in a movie.

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

January 18th, 2012
5:27 pm

@masterprince32 “Fredrick Douglass was not taught as a slave. He’s taught as an abolitionist Why couldn’t they just stay on those lines? ”

It is rather difficult to teach about someone being an abolitionist without mentioning slavery. “Hey kids, we are going to learn about Frederick Douglass who was an abolitionist. But I can’t actually tell you what he was trying to abolish because someone might get offended.” Doesn’t work very well, does it? Besides, how Frederick Douglass is taught depends upon the type of curriculum a district has chosen to use. The biography my school uses for Frederick Douglass includes an entire chapter about his early life as a slave – it makes his strong passion as an abolitionist much more meaningful to the students.

Watering down history does not benefit anyone. Should children be taught about beatings? Not as a matter of course, though such questions do arise in my room when we discuss Frederick Douglass… questions like, “Why was slavery so bad?” Some children know enough about slavery to bring up whipping and beatings. Do I hush them up because someone else might not like hearing about it? Should I play down the negative impacts of slavery and leave out the worst parts, giving the impression it was not that horrible a situation? Or should I actually teach some truth – that people were horribly mistreated sometimes? I generally fall in favor of honesty in teaching, but after this? I am not so sure. Maybe I should just leave my students uninformed, or worse, misinformed so I don’t risk upsetting anyone.

Frankly, I find the suggestion that we should exclude mentioning the issue of “slavery” when studying the life of a man who suffered under the regime of slavery and spent his life trying to get rid of the practice of slavery rather bizarre.

Old Physics Teacher

January 18th, 2012
5:39 pm

And now you’re going to notice another 500-1000 potential teachers have decide to get a degree in business, science, math, or some other field instead of teaching. I agree this was a stupid act. I seriously doubt the person who answered the phone at Walmart telling a customer complaining about “Happy Holidays” that the holiday was there long before there was a Christmas got fired. Their manager just set there and took the heat and cow-towed to Bill O’Reily, and it all went away. His/her administrator probably threw the young teacher under the bus for their own protection.

Keep it up; keep it up. Let’s destroy public education just like the “Powers That Be” want to. Except you better be prepared to pay dearly for that private tutor for your kids when the public schools disappear..