A school district in Cincinnati, Ohio, is investigating after a fourth grade teacher reportedly included questionable references in math questions within a homework assignment.
The parent of a young student took to Facebook to share a photo of her daughter’s math homework, which reportedly included the word “liquor” in a math problem about a recipe, as well as references to food stamps.
“This matter was brought to the district's attention late today, and we are looking into it,” Cincinnati Public Schools said in a statement. "While the investigation is continuing, it does appear that a test with inappropriate questions was sent home by a teacher at North Avondale Montessori School without the knowledge and approval of the school leadership and district.”
In her Facebook post, the concerned parent clarified that she met with the teacher in question to discuss the appropriateness of his references.
“I suggested that with questionable wording, he should, maybe, have the pages retyped with new words and recipes. He agreed,” she wrote. “So not sure this resolved anything, but at least this teacher is aware that parents do pay attention to their kids' assignments."
Former Cincinnati Public Schools teacher Tyran Stallings said the incident highlights a problem within education today.
“I was bothered by them,” Stallings said. "I think it's very inflammatory, and it feeds into the underlying cultural sensitivity issue that lies in education across the nation.
“For the racial implications, I had an issue with the fact that liquor is being brought into a fourth grader's classroom in terms of education. I think that that's ridiculous."
Another statement was subsequently issued by the school district, condemning the references used in the math questions.
“The wording is both insensitive and developmentally inappropriate,” the statement read. “It also runs counter to the values of NAM and Cincinnati Public Schools, where we celebrate the diversity of our families and respect differences in backgrounds and beliefs."