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Class 4 Student Refuses to Answer 'Offensive' Math Problem That Compared Women's Weight

'I don’t think that math problem was very nice because that’s judging people’s weight,' little Rhythm wrote to her teacher.

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Updated:October 15, 2019, 8:44 AM IST
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Class 4 Student Refuses to Answer 'Offensive' Math Problem That Compared Women's Weight
Image credit: Instagram

A 10-year-old student from Utah is earning praise online after she refused to solve an ‘offensive’ problem given out in her mathematics homework. The question asked students to compare girls’ weight.

Her answer on the worksheet refusing to solve the sum stating her reason and a note to her teacher explaining her concern are going viral.

Rhythm Pacheco who is a Grant Elementary School student in Murray was given homework where a question involving body-weight of girls made her uncomfortable as she considered it rude. The problem read, “The table to the right shows the weight of three Grade 4 students. How much heavier is Isabel than the lightest student?”

A picture of Rhythm’s answer to the question was shared online by her parents. Rhythm encircled the question and wrote “what!!!!” adding that, “This is offensive. Sorry I won’t right [write] this it’s rood [rude].”

The fourth grade student also went ahead and wrote a note to her teacher explaining her problem to the question. “Dear Mrs. Shaw, I don’t want to be rude, but I don’t think that math problem was very nice because that’s judging people’s weight. Also, the reason I did not do the sentence is cause I just don’t think that’s nice. -Love Rhythm”

Speaking to Today, Rhythm’s mother Naomi said, “Rhythm’s dad and I were extremely proud of Rhythm for listening to her gut instincts and standing up for what is right. Rhythm’s teacher was so responsive and handled the situation with such care. She told her she understands how she would be upset about this and that she didn’t have to write out the answer.”

Naomi further spoke to Fox News saying “I was shocked… I was shocked, honestly. I feel like it’s such an irresponsible way to teach children how to do math.”

After the issue went viral and it raised concerned among many parents online about the kind of questions through which children learn these days, Eureka Math, the company that provides core educational materials to the girl’s school district, released a statement regarding the questionable math problem.

“User feedback is a vital part of our culture; we are grateful to receive constructive feedback from students, teachers, and parents alike,” said the statement. “We apologize for any discomfort of offense caused by the question. Please know that we will replace this question in all future reprints, and suggest that teachers supply students with an appropriate replacement question in the interim.”

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