Teach It, YES, but Teach It RIGHT!

January 21, 2012 at 8:13 PM (childcare and child protection, current news, historic review, human life issues, political atmosphere, social opinion)

It is a usual thing to catch someone committing a stupid action, every so often.  However, it is very disturbing when that action involves adults whom are in positions of responsibility around our youths.  After reading about this one episode, I have to keep in mind about the unfortunate fact that we are not always in the position to protect our young ones from sudden outbursts of stupidity.

The town of Lawrenceville, Georgia, located slightly northeast of Atlanta, is where a teacher chose to give a controversial mathematics lesson to his students.  Luis Rivera had given a homework assignment to his students at Beaver Ridge Elementary School.  The math assignment required the children to answer questions that were math word problems.  The highlight of this particular lesson involved the students solving problems that involved the actions and treatments of slaves.

The homework assignment had problem solving questions that asked the students to complete math problems, after giving answers from being asked about how slaves were being treated during this dark period of our nation’s history.  Mr. Rivera presented problems which asked:  “Each tree has 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, how many would each slave pick?”  “If Frederick got two beatings each day, how many beatings did he get in one week?”

This is the kind of madness that manages to move through the cracks and crevices of our social settings.  Here we are, in a public school setting, in the year 2012, and dealing with our children!  Seemingly without acknowledging the disgrace, the error, the pain, and the suffering of slavery, a public school teacher was blithely able to present a lesson to his students that involved questions which involved the recognition of slavery in such a nonchalant and unconcerned way.

I realize the unfortunate, yet seemingly constant fact, is that several of various groups of U.S. citizens living below The Mason-Dixon Line seem to have something of a different perspective regarding this segment of our nation’s history.  It would appear almost as if the issues and lessons that should have come from the era prior to The Civil War are not described with full clarity to the current generation of youths, especially within The Southern United States.  What else can be said, when you have a public school teacher who has given an assignment to his students, which obviously would have been regarded as offensive, yet he proceeded to present the lesson in a seemingly indifferent manner?

I still believe that the majority of U.S. citizens are aware of the painful past portions of our nation’s history, and that many responsible adults are doing what should be done to present lessons about these times in responsible manners.  Yet, it does seem that some people are able to slip through the cracks, without having an actual understanding of this era themselves.  These people are able to make it through society without recognizing various levels of right and wrong.  Then, they are horrifically able to display their levels of ignorance in positions of alleged responsibility which can involve educating our children!

I can only hope that reports like this one are able to reach the general public.  Hopefully, the appropriate people within positions of responsibility are able to see things like this, and they are able to react in manners that will provide the necessary levels of correction and enlightenment.  Meanwhile, it is hoped that Beaver Ridge Elementary School, along with students throughout The United States, are able to recognize this painful era of our nation’s history, and that the proper lessons from it are being learned.

Ex-teacher Luis Rivera apologizes for slavery math lesson









students in a class answering questions

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