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NAACP holds town hall meeting on controversial homework assignment

Staff Photo: Frank Reddy Ed Dubose, state NAACP president, speaks to a crowd of several dozen Monday night during a town hall meeting in Duluth.

Staff Photo: Frank Reddy Ed Dubose, state NAACP president, speaks to a crowd of several dozen Monday night during a town hall meeting in Duluth.

DULUTH -- Despite investigations by the local school district and the subsequent resignation of an elementary school teacher, representatives with the NAACP are not satisfied.

During a town hall meeting Monday night held at a church in Duluth, parents, community activists and the organization's state leader Ed Dubose spoke their piece on an issue that raised eyebrows last month.

"I don't care what color you are," said Georgia NAACP President Ed Dubose. "Those math homework assignments were inflammatory."

Many who felt the same way as Dubose called for an apology from the Gwinnett County Public School System, asking for the district to take whatever actions were necessary to prevent such future incidents.

It all stemmed from a homework assignment sent home by several teachers last month at Beaver Ridge Elementary. Following investigations and a wave of media attention of teacher Luis Rivera resigned on Jan. 13, and the three others were chided for distributing the homework.

One of the homework questions was: "Each tree has 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?"

Another question was: "If Frederick got two beatings each day, how many beatings did he get in one week?"

In a letter to administration, Rivera said the questions were never meant to offend anyone.

Many of those at Monday night's town hall meeting at New Beginnings Fellowship disagreed.

Virgil Glover, a Gwinnett County resident, came out to the gathering because he felt the test questions presented to students "were in poor taste."

"We have the largest school district in the state, and for this district to do such a thing is an embarrassment," Glover said. "What makes things worse is that the kids who read these test questions were at such an impressionable age."

The teacher, Rivera, said in a letter to administration that the homework was an attempt to combine subject areas. The third-grade class at the time was studying famous Americans and had been reading about Frederick Douglass, a former slave.

Dubose said Monday that the NAACP plans to hold another similar town hall type meeting on March 5 in order to discuss an action plan "for those who believe that Gwinnett County should move out of the 1950s and into 2012."

Comments

NewsReader 2 years, 2 months ago

The "dead horse" beatings will continue today. Give it up GDP. No matter how many times you bring this idiot and nonsense to the forefront, we will continue to comment on its lunacy.

What's the matter Dubose? Did you not get enough attention when you were a child? What's done is done. The teacher is gone, and now identified, thanks to GDP. If there is anything in your credentials worthy of mention, it would have to be your pot stirring capabilities. GDP is there to give you a hand.

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jack 2 years, 2 months ago

How about a town hall meeting to discuss an action plan "for those who believe that Ed Dubose should move out of the 1950s and into 2012."?

.

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gregmack 2 years, 2 months ago

The attitude of the 1950's was "that's the way things are - deal with it". It re-enforces Mr. Dubose point when we call for a dismissal of this issue. I may not agree with Mr. Dubose nor the approach he and his organization is taking, but anytime we fail to look at anything from the other person's perspective, we then become guilty of the accusation. Let's all at least agree that what was done was inappropriate and let's agree to work together to make sure the action does not happen again in the GCPS (unless you support the action and could care less if it happens again).

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suedehead 2 years, 2 months ago

Ed,

Why are you obseesed with Gwinnett when I need all the love and support you can give? Here, you could be the star you desperately need to be.

Signed, Clayton County.

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skygirl 2 years, 2 months ago

Ed Dubose needs to give it up! This is old news. He can't stand the fact that it was not a "white" teacher that prompted this discussion, so he is continuing to try to find a way to play the race card in Gwinnett Schools. He is an embarrassment to the NAACP. He needs to go back to where he came from and take a class or two on communication skills.

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suedehead 2 years, 2 months ago

Enough is enough, GDP. Quit giving this fame seeker attention. It's fine when the subject matter is fresh, but there's no story here. What did this meeting accomplish in order to warrant a story? Obviously, not much. A rehash of events with another useless quote from Dubose, a comment from "Gwinnett resident" that may or may not be a Beaver Ridge parent (FINE REPORTING!), and the date of a NEXT meeting thrown in.

Do your editors think you're including or representing the "black" community by publishing these stories?

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 2 months ago

Didn't the school apologize and the teacher resign? If so, what else do they need to do?

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Oliver 2 years, 2 months ago

I'd like to know how many people actually showed up for this "newsworthy" town hall meeting. The article fails to mention it and from the looks of the photo, maybe 4 people (and I don't think one of them can gain membership into the NAACP).

I saw more people at my neighbor's garage sale last weekend and that never got GDP coverage.

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 2 months ago

So, apparently in 2012, you should not teach the painful portions of history and instead focus only on the good, politically-correct issues. Were the questions in poor taste? Yes. If you want to combine areas of study, there are much more efficient ways of handling it. That said, the school apologized and the teacher resigned. I'd still like to know what more the NAACP expects the school system to do. . And as an aside to the author: Hi, Frank!

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suedehead 2 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, Hi Frank! Tell your boss to quit wasting your time with these non-stories so you can go back to school to learn the basics of good reporting.

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jenelaw 2 years, 2 months ago

Thank you FordGalaxy! The voice of reason is long overdue here. The NAACP is doing more harm than the original homework assignment did by keeping it dredged up and telling people that it meant more than it did. I so agree that the questions were in poor taste, but the intention was not to hurt anyone. The intention, while it obviously did not turn out well, was actually based on a great teaching strategy. As usual...adults take something small and BLOW it out of proportion. I too don' understand what the NAACP wants at this point...other than 15 more minutes of notoriety.

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toby 2 years, 2 months ago

I did not know that slaves picked oranges.

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LarryMajor 2 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, I didn’t know that either. Don’t let Dubose find out we learned something or we’ll have picket lines in our driveways.

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 2 months ago

suedehead - A question: how is this not good reporting? There was an event, it was reported on, and reported on without the author's bias getting in the way, if indeed any author bias exists. I'm just trying to get a grasp on why you are attacking the author of this piece. Your comments reveal that you understand he has little choice in the stories he covers, as he is assigned them by the paper. So why say that he needs to learn the basics of good reporting? I'm curious...

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suedehead 2 years, 2 months ago

I didn't state there was bias on the part of the reporter, just a lack of information. A reporter should find a way to make a beat-down, non-story like this relevant. Provide details. How many were in attendance? Anyone from the BOE or BR Elem? One "soundbite" from Dubose was all there was to quote? Was the gentleman who provided an opinion a BR parent? If not, why not find someone directly affected? Otherwise, he's just some guy in the audience. Work the crowd to make the story timely. Don't just give a recap. We all know the story. It's not his fault he had to cover this, but step up and show your editors that a skilled reporter could make this worthy for coverage. As it stands, most of the comments are asking why is this still in the news.

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ssilover1 2 years, 2 months ago

Ed Dubose needs a job. If ever there was one for him it was in ATL PS. I mean, who hurt the advancement more than that??? Seems like NOT teaching kids is the ultimate in hurt and neglect. And GDP, the guys are right. Why are you continuing to report when an apology has been made, a good man quit his job to try and end this mess and the district clearly has recognized some people don't "get it" and diversity training has ensued? So, do you want the educators' blood? Do you want to lynch (which you already have done)? Do you want to divide the community (which you have NOT successfully done because everyone -- no exception-- believes an ERROR in JUDGEMENT was made and apologized for). Who crowed Ed Dubose King of the NAACP? HE is an EMBARRASSMENT--he and a couple of women who frequent the BOE if someone sneezes to their dissatisfaction. Get out of here...go back to whereever in Ga. you came from.

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LB 2 years, 2 months ago

I think enough has been said about this issue. Gwinnett County has fired the teacher and issued an apology. Why the town hall meeting and why all the continued discussion??

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ALRDuluth 2 years, 2 months ago

Oh good grief. Give it a rest already. We have the most diverse school system in the state of Georgia and this man is going to keep bringing this one incident up. Move on buddy....Gwinnett is tired of hearing from you.

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Mack711 2 years, 2 months ago

Watched the noon news today about the story. Did not see to many people attending this meeting. More reporters than citizens. One person who did attend had an ax to grind because she was forcefully removed from the school for trepassing. This should be a resolved issue. We must teach our children correct history, and unfortunatly slavery was one incident in our history, so that is is not repeated in the future generations. Dubose should go back and clean up in his own back yard and find out who beat the kid in Atlanta. DuBose if you know so much on how children in Gwinnett why don't you run for the position on the BOE and see how far you get.

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