A middle school teacher in Arizona has been placed on “home assignment” after including an Ice Cube music video in his lesson plan.
Parents were outraged when they discovered that their teenage children had been exposed to the 1990 Ice Cube song, “Who’s The Mack?” during a poetry lesson, KPHO reported (video below).
"What the hell was he thinking?" asked Carrie Scott, whose daughter is a student in the class. "It was horrifying. It was a nightmare. How do you grade this? how do you grade a 13-year-old talking about sexual requests for money?"
Students at Florence Unified School District were asked to identify similes, metaphors and other poetic elements in the song. One student said the test made her feel “uncomfortable.”
“I think I’m there to learn about Shakespeare or something, not rap songs from Ice Cube,” Spencer Washburn, one of the students in the class, told KPHO. “I didn't like it at all and it was just very uncomfortable and I was scared to talk to my parents about it.”
In the song’s lyrics, Ice Cube uses his storytelling ability to give examples of three types of “Macks.” One of the questions on the test asked students what their definition of a “Mack” is.
While the song does include explicit language, the news station did not specify if the teacher showed students the censored version of the song. Vevo provides only the clean version of the music video online. Still, parents were upset about the song’s references to pimps and prostitution, and the school district was notified of the incident.
District officials determined the content was inappropriate after conducting a formal investigation on Monday.
"The language is the biggest issue," Florence Unified School District spokesperson Richard Franco told the news station. "It's not something that's part of our curriculum in any way, shape or form and it's not something that our district condones being taught in our classes."
Franco added that all teachers are required to submit their lesson plans for the upcoming week and the teacher’s submitted plan did not include the Ice Cube song. The language arts teacher has been placed on “home assignment.”
Scott is calling for the teacher in question to be terminated.
"I believe a teacher is paid to teach my child how to read and write and do math and learn history," Scott said. "It's my job as a parent if I want to teach them the lessons about pimps and hookers. That's my job.
"That's not their job to expose my children to explicit music or lyrics."
While the song does reference pimps, it gives many other examples of “macks” who are “looking to get over” on somebody. You can watch the music video below and determine for yourself if Ice Cube’s music video was inappropriate, or if perhaps his message was lost on the eighth grade students and parents.