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Tipsheet

Math Assignment in Missouri Teaches Children About Maya Angelou's Past of Sexual Abuse, Work as Prostitute

Twitter, @CMartinForMO

A math homework plan circulating over Twitter on Saturday exposes the absurdity that children are being subject to, in this case learning about author Maya Angelou's life of sexual abuse when she was eight-years-old, and her work as a pimp, prostitute, and nightclub dancer. While this lesson was out of Missouri, it also further reinforces how right Florida's Department of Education was for rejecting 41 percent of math textbooks, since they contained prohibited concepts such as Critical Race Theory (CRT), as Landon covered earlier on Saturday. 

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On Saturday night, Christina Pushaw, Gov. DeSantis' press secretary, shared photos of a math homework plan for ninth graders, as well as a letter dated February 22, 2022, from Mark S. Penny, the superintendent of the Lincoln County R-III school system. It is the 25th largest out of 518 school districts in Missouri. 

Conor Martin, the Bedford Township Republican Central Committeeman had tweeted out a picture of the homework assignment in February. 

The superintendent, in his February 22 letter, explained that the "assignment from the Ninth Grade Center was brought to the attention of our building and district leadership over the extended weekend that included content that is not in line with approved curriculum." Penny goes on to apologize. "We extend our most sincere apologies for any offense that this has caused, want to assure our community that this content does not align with the beliefs or mission of the Lincoln County R-Ill School District."

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As it turns out, this homework assignment has been used at other high schools, though, over many years. For instance, in 2017, students in the Pennridge School District, in Pennsylvania, as well as in Fort Myers, Florida in 2015, were given the assignment, according to the Associated Press

Penny's letter goes on to explain that it won't be used in the future. "Unfortunately, the assignment originated from a website that allows teachers around the world to share educational resources. At this time, it has been removed from the course and steps are being taken to ensure that it is not used in the future."

The content creator, Clint Clark, who is also the chief executive of Clark Creative Education, is referenced in a piece from Parents Defending Education:

Clint Clark, the creator of the worksheet and chief executive of Clark Creative Education, told Parents Defending Education that he created the worksheet as a teacher at Columbus International High School between 2010 and 2012 for a course on human trafficking and an Algebra 1 class. He said, “I do regret that I put it online.”

He has since revised the worksheet with new questions.

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With Clark expressing his regret, it makes one wonder even more why such content is being used for homework assignments. 

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