A 4th-Grader Refused to Answer a Math Problem Because It Was Offensive

October 16, 2019 | No Comments » | Topics: Story

Rhythm Pacheco, a student of Grant Elementary School in Murray, Utah, spoke out against a question in her math homework that asked her to compare the weight of girls. She said that the question was “rude” and provoked to judge girls based on their weight.

“I thought it was offensive,” Rhythm, who attends Grant Elementary School in Murray, told the television station. “I didn’t like that because girls shouldn’t be comparing each other. I know it was a math problem … but I don’t think that was really OK.”

The math question which Rhythm was supposed to answer read, “ ‘The table to the right shows the weight of three Grade 4 students. How much heavier is Isabel than the lightest student?’ In response, she encircled the question and wrote, “What!!!! This is offensive. Sorry I won’t right [write] this it’s rood [rude].”


“They’re trying to make questions relevant to a fourth-grader’s life and lifestyle and things that they encounter,” Melissa Hamilton, the Murray City School District director of elementary teaching and learning, told KSTU. “The problems right before that talked about watermelons, and then the problem before that, a Saint Bernard.

“I can certainly see if a fourth-grade student did misconstrue that question. However, in math curriculum, (it) wasn’t about body image — the question was about moving kilograms to pounds.”

Colby added he did not believe there was any reason to remove the question from the curriculum.

Rhythm and her mother disagree.

“I think we have other resources and other ways of teaching our children math and how to weigh proportions, objects, people, without direct comparisons — especially comparing little girls,” Pacheco told the television station.“The fact that they (Eureka Math) are asking questions like this irresponsible.”


You Might Like