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“If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in 1 week?” Those are the types of ridiculous math problems students at Beaver Ridge Elementary School in Norcross, GA, are being asked to solve and their parents are not happy about it to say the least.

Gwinnett County school district officials said the principal at Beaver Ridge will personally work with teachers to come up with more appropriate lessons and will offer more opportunities for staff development following the backlash over the worksheet which also included questions such as: “Each tree had 56 oranges. If 8 slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?” But parents say that’s not enough. They’re demanding an apology from the school and diversity training for the teachers and district officials.

“That’s how people learn from one another and that’s how we all grow,” says Jennifer Falk, a community activist who recently had two children graduate from Gwinnett high schools. “Intentionally or not, this was inappropriate.”

So how does something like this even happen? School district officials said teachers were attempting to incorporate history into their third-grade math lessons.

“Clearly, they did not do as good of a job as they should have done,” district spokeswoman Sloan Roach said. “It was just a poorly written question.” That’s one way to look at it.

Under district policy, the worksheet should have been reviewed before being handed out to students, but for some reason that protocol wasn’t followed in this situation. The most recent accountability report for Beaver Ridge, which has an enrollment of about 1,200 students, shows that 62% of its students are Latino, 24% are black, and 5% are white. The school was recently recognized as a Georgia Title I Distinguished School for achieving adequate yearly progress for six straight years. Something tells me they won’t earn that title for the seventh year.

Can you believe this?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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