Parents shocked, upset at 4th grade reading assignment

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by Tania Dall / WWLTV

khou.com

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 7:31 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 7 at 8:05 AM

NEW ORLEANS -- A group of parents is up in arms after a controversial homework assignment made its way into the hands of 4th graders.

School officials confirm that a teacher accidentally distributed the adult-themed literature.

However, some parents say more needs to be done to hold educators accountable.

"Didn't proof it. Didn't skim through it. Not a lick of word was read before it was given to the children," said Bobby Wilson, Jr. whose son has been attending Mildred Osborne Charter School for four years now.

On Monday night, the father of three couldn't believe his 10-year-old's reading assignment called "Best Enemies Forever."

"It was good he had enough sense to step back and really look back at what was being read in the story and he started to underline stuff himself and brought it to our attention," said Wilson.

The literature in question can be found on a website called short-story.me. Concerned parents also took snapshots of the paperwork.

Wilson and his wife met with school officials Tuesday morning. The couple says they were told the 4th grade teacher was in a hurry when she printed off the article, missing adult themes and explicit words, such as "b----" and "p----".

"This is a prime example of why we need to take a closer look at the people who are teaching our children," said Wilson worried that more mistakes are impacting his child's education.

"That is ridiculous. That means the teacher isn't really focusing on their job," said New Orleans East resident Derrick Walker.

Two of his kids also attend Mildred Osborne Charter School, and he said they won't be returning next year.

"The curriculum is bad, the way they're handling the teachers. The students are bad. The teachers aren't notifying you about your children," said Walker.

WWLTV reached out to school officials to try and find out how they choose reading assignments and other curriculum. We did not get a response in time for our 10 p.m. newscast Tuesday.

However, Andrew Shahan, the CEO of ARISE Schools, which oversees the New Orleans East charter school, did issue this statement:

"We have conducted an investigation and determined that this was an accident and not intentional. The teacher was made aware of the expectations and ways to insure that this mistake never happens again. The teacher and school administration has issued an apology, without excuse, for this action and will be contacting families."

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