Pittsburgh school district investigates homework assignment parents called offensive
© Pittsburgh Action News

Pittsburgh Public Schools is investigating an elementary school reading assignment that parents have said is offensive and filled with grammatical errors.

The assignment, which was given to first-graders last week at Linden Elementary School, tells a story about two people, Tom and Rob, who are running from the police, local station Pittsburgh Action News reports.

The story also has grammatical errors, such as “Rob’s socks is wet from the pond.”

Parents complained to the school, with one telling the news station that teachers should “always read everything before you give it out.”

“You read it before you give it to adults and you definitely read it before you give it to children,” the parent said.


Superintendent Anthony Hamlet said in a statement that he was “dismayed to learn of the inappropriate homework assignment.”

“The homework assignment, which has been circulated throughout social media, has justifiably caused outrage among families, staff and community,” Hamlet said. “First, let me be clear; the worksheet is not a part of any District curriculum or intervention program. Not only does the content send the wrong message to our students, but it also does not meet our expectations for student instruction.

"We are committed to ensuring that all materials placed in front of our students are culturally responsive, validating and affirming their cultural and ethnic identities,” he continued. “We also recognize it is our responsibility to alert educators of their blind spots related to implicit bias, colorblindness, and micro-aggressions.”

The district is investigating the materials, and the assignment appears to have been created by a third-party company, Action News reports.