Homework question generates complaints
Math assignment contains details from Maya Angelou autobiography
EAST ROCKHILL >> Pennridge School District has apologized after receiving complaints about some of the questions on a high school math homework assignment.
“We apologize to anyone who was offended by the content of the assignment and have taken steps to avoid such occurrences in the future,” Superintendent Dr. Jacqueline Rattigan wrote in a statement.
The algebra problems in the homework were paired with a word puzzle about Maya Angelou and her autobiography, “I Know
Why the Caged Bird Sings,” multiple media reports said.
The questions, which had algebraic formulas to solve for “x” and “y,” included “Angelou was sexually abused by her mother’s __ at age 8, which shaped her career choices and motivation for writing” and “Trying to support her son as a single mother, she worked
as a pimp, prostitute and __,” media reports said.
With the algebraic solution, the student determined if the answer to the first question was boyfriend, brother or father and the answer to the second question was bookie, drug dealer or night club dancer.
“We have received a number of complaints from parents and members of the community regarding a recent high school math homework assignment
which contained adult content without a proper context. The homework worksheet in question was downloaded from a website that allows teachers around the world to share educational resources. It is not part of our approved curriculum,” the Jan. 13 district statement said.
“We apologize to anyone who was offended by the content of the assignment and have taken steps to avoid such occurrences in the future.”