‘How Many Slaves Equal At Least 4 White People?’: North Carolina Parents Outraged By Assignment

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‘How Many Slaves Equal At Least 4 White People?’: North Carolina Parents Outraged By Assignment

The school district has apologized for the “inappropriate” Three-Fifths Compromise lesson.

Published December 13th

Written by Zayda Rivera

A math assignment at a North Carolina middle school has outraged parents due to its insensitive nature, comparing “the value of slaves with white people.” 

The Charlotte Observer reports that Kannapolis City Schools apologized Tuesday (Dec. 10) for the assignment, which posed the question, “How many slaves would be needed to equal at least 4 white people?”

A concerned adult posted the assignment on Facebook, showing the controversial question, which was one of five similarly worded math questions, WBTV reports

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“Last night as I’m talking with my lady. She tells me this is an assignment that her friends son received at Kannapolis Middle School!” the man wrote on FB. “Smh. Again public schools are nothing but white supremacy!” 

The lesson was on the Three-Fifth Compromise of 1787 under which slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person, according to the National Constitution Center.

The school district called the assignment “inappropriate,” WCCB reports.

“We agree that the assignment was inappropriate and have taken steps to address the situation and assured the parent that the assignment will not be graded, and will not be counted for any student…we expect and promote racial equity in our schools and this assignment did not meet that standard or expectation at all,” the district said in a statement to WCCB.

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It’s unclear whether the teacher who distributed the assignment will be reprimanded. The teacher’s name has not been released. School leaders told WCCB they are actively addressing the matter. 

According to The Charlotte Observer, the teacher has been disciplined.

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