Alabama Teacher Suspended over Math Test with Questions About Drive-By Shootings, Cocaine

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

A teacher at Burns Middle School in Mobile, Alabama, has been suspended after parents complained about a math test given to their children. The test, which some have labeled racist, contained questions about cocaine and drive-by shootings.

The exam, entitled “The L.A. Math Proficiency Test,” has been circulating online for years. Its questions feature mathematical word problems about unseemly subjects, including pimps and gangs, as well as cocaine and drive-by shootings.

One of the word problems reads, “Rufus is pimping for three girls. If the price is $65 for each trick, how many tricks will each girl have to turn so Rufus can pay for his $800-per-day crack habit?

Another question reads, “Johnny has an AK-47 with an 80-round clip. If he misses 6 out of 10 shots and shoots 13 times at each drive-by shooting, how many drive-by shootings can he attempt before he has to reload?”

“My son, he took a picture of it in class and he texted it to me. I couldn’t believe it,” Erica Hall told Fox10.

Hall said the students laughed at the test, thinking that it was part of some sort of practical joke.

“They took it as a joke, and she told them that it wasn’t it [sic] a joke, and they had to complete it, and turn it in,” she said.

Erica Hall and her husband, along with several parents, visited Burns Middle school on Tuesday, seeking answers.

Mobile County Public School System Martha Peek declined to comment on the status of the internal investigation, but she said that the teacher was suspended when her office became aware of the incident, according to News5.

Peyton, one of the students who was given the math test, said she laughed at it.

“My language arts teacher gave it to us to work, and I was kind of laughing at it, because I thought it was kind of off,” she said.

“I’m shocked. I don’t think it’s appropriate at all,” said Mrs. Lee, Payton’s mother.

Apparently, teachers in Texas and California have administered the test in the past.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson.


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