Outraged schoolgirl, 9, refuses to answer ‘offensive’ maths question that compared girls' weights

3 October 2019, 13:15

One school girl refused to answer an 'offensive' maths question
One school girl refused to answer an 'offensive' maths question. Picture: Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

An nine year-old girl branded a homework question 'rude' after it compared the weights of three children.

A nine-year-old girl was so outraged by one question on her recent maths paper that she refused to answer it.

Rhythm Pacheco, from Salt Lake City in Utah, was handed a test which asked her to work out how much more one student weighed than another.

The question read: "The table to the right shows the weight of three Grade 4 students. How much heavier is Isabel than the lightest student?"

A table then listed the names and weights of the three fictional students - Isabel weighing in at 35kilograms, Irene at 29kg 38grams and Sue weighing 29,238g.

Rhythm refused to complete her maths homework
Rhythm refused to complete her maths homework. Picture: PA Images

Clearly angry about the question, Rhythm wrote her teacher a note instead of trying to work out the answer.

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She penned: “What!!!! This is offensive! Sorry I wont right this its rood.”

Scared she would get into trouble for not completing the test, Rhythm also added: “I don’t want to be rude, but I think that math problem wasn’t very nice, I thought that was judging people’s weight.

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“Also, the reason I didn’t write a sentence is because I just didn’t think that was nice."

After going viral, Rhythm has since explained the reason she refused to do her homework, telling Fox13: “I thought it was offensive. 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 okay…

“I didn’t really think that would be on homework, I thought that would be fruits or vegetables or things like that.”

The young girl’s mum Naomi Pacheco, backed her daughter, saying she was ‘shocked’ by the question.

“I feel like it’s such an irresponsible way to teach children how to do math,” she said.

The maths paper was given to Rhythm’s school Grant Elementary, by a company called Eureka Math.

But while the nine-year-old’s teacher was said to be supportive of the student's stance, Eureka has insisted the question only intended to provide students with practice in converting grams and kilograms.

Eureka director Chad Colby said: "There is no value judgement in the question about weight, it's merely a comparison."

Mr Colby also added that there were no plans to remove the question altogether.