A school principal has ordered sensitivity training for the entire staff of Public School 59 in Manhattan following last month’s assignment, the Daily News reported Friday.
A teacher had 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.
A student-teacher said she was shocked by the wording and later refused to hand out the worksheet in another class.
“I looked at the questions and was like, ‘Wow! This is kind of inappropriate,’”
“I just found it alarming that this would happen in a state that you would think was more liberal,” said Harding a student teacher.
The Department of Education said the situation was “obviously unacceptable.” It said “appropriate disciplinary action” would be taken.