This fourth-grader shut down a math test question comparing girls' weights

Rhythm Pacheco, a 9-year-old from Murray, UT, wasn’t having it when she saw a question on her math test asking her to compare the weights of three girls.

Rhythm's mom, Naomi, told Fox affiliate KSTU she was shocked when she saw the question on her daughter’s homework sheet. “I feel like it’s such an irresponsible way to teach children how to do math,” Naomi said.

The math problem had a chart depicting the weights of three girls in kilograms. Next to the chart was a question that read, “The table to the right shows the weight of three Grade 4 students. How much heavier is Isabell than the lightest student?” according to Naomi.

32 PHOTOS
Royal family's first day of school
See Gallery
Royal family's first day of school
Prince Harry waves at the press on his first day at nursery school, Notting Hill, London, UK, 16th September 1987. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 16: Prince Harry looks at photographers with a pair of binoculars as he leaves on his first day at Mrs. Mynor's nursery school on September 16, 1987 in Notting Hill, London. (Photo by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)
Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997) takes her son Prince William to his first day at Mrs Mynor's Nursery School in London, September 1985. (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)
Prince William leaves Nursery School in London's Notting Hill, after his first day on September 24, 1985 in London, United Kingdom, With headmistress Jane Mynors, Diana, Princess of Wales, Charles, Prince of Wales, 24th September 1985. (Photo by John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)
Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997) drop off their son Prince William on his first day at nursery school, 24th September 1985. He is attending Mrs Mynor's Nursery School at Chepstow Villas in west London. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Prince Harry on his first day at nursery school with his parents Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, and his older brother Prince William, Notting Hill, London, 16th September 1987.(Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM- JANUARY 15: Diana, Princess of Wales, takes Prince William to his first day at Wetherby School, welcomed by School Headmistress, Frederika Blair Turner ( right ), on January 15, 1987 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
The Prince and Princess of Wales and family outside Manor House at Eton College with housemaster Dr Andrew Gailey on Prince William's first day at the school, September 1995. Left to right: Princess Diana (1961 - 1997), Prince Harry, Andrew Gailey, Prince William and Prince Charles. (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Getty Images)
ETON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 06: Prince William signs in on his first day at Eton College watched by his parents, he Prince and Princess of Wales and brother, Prince Harry on September 16, 1995 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
Britain's Prince George accompanied by Britain's Prince William (L), Duke of Cambridge arrives for his first day of school at Thomas's school in Battersea, southwest London on September 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / RICHARD POHLE (Photo credit should read RICHARD POHLE/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince George accompanied by Britain's Prince William (L), Duke of Cambridge arrives for his first day of school at Thomas's school in Battersea, southwest London on September 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / RICHARD POHLE (Photo credit should read RICHARD POHLE/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 7: Prince George of Cambridge arrives for his first day of school with his father Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as they are met Head of the lower school Helen Haslem at Thomas's Battersea on September 7, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Pohle - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
PA NEWS PHOTO 8/6/92 THE PRINCESS OF LEAVES WETHERBY SCHOOL WITH PRINCE WILLIAM AFTER DROPPING OFF HER YOUNGER SON PRINCE HARRY. (Photo by Adam Butler - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 25: Princess Diana Taking Prince William And Prince Harry Back To Wetherby School For The Summer Term. It Will Be The Last Term For Prince William At His Pre-prep School In Notting Hill, London. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Prince William, On His Brother'S Prince Harry First Day At Wetherby School, In London. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
ETON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 2; Prince Harry arrives at Eton College,with his Father Prince Charles, to settle in before his first day, on September 2, 1998 in, Eton, United Kingdom..( Photo by UK Press via Getty Images )
WINDSOR- SEPTEMBER 2: (FILE PHOTO) Prince Harry, accompanied by his father, Prince Charles, meets headmaster John Lewis on his first day at Eton College on September 2, 1998 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
WINDSOR- SEPTEMBER 2: (FILE PHOTO) Prince Harry signs in on his first day at Eton College on September 2, 1998 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
WINDSOR- SEPTEMBER 2: (FILE PHOTO) Prince Harry, watched by his father Prince Charles and headmaster John Lewis, signs in on his first day at Eton College on September 2, 1998 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
The Prince of Wales walking to Cheam School in Berkshire. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
NEWBURY, ROYAUME-UNI - 18 DECEMBRE: Le Prince Charles quitte l'ecole Cheam pour passer ses vacances de Noel avec sa famille, me 18 decembre 1957, a Newbury, Royaume-Uni. (Photo by Keystone-France\Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Prince Charles, accompanied by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, meeting one of the two joint headmasters, Peter Beck, right, at Cheam School, near Newbury. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Prince Charles arrives at Cheam School in Berkshire to start his first term, and is introduced to the headmaster, Peter Beck, 23rd September 1957. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh accompany him. (Photo by Reg Birkett/Keystone/Getty Images)
1st May 1962: Prince Charles walking in the grounds of Gordonstoun School, Elgin, Scotland. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Prince Charles shakes hands with Robert Chew the headmaster of Gordonstoun School on his first day as a pupil there, 1st May 1962. He is accompanied by his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, who also attended the school. Location: Near Elgin, Grampian, Scotland, UK. (Photo by Hulton-Deutsch/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis via Getty Images)
1st May 1962: Charles, Prince of Wales and The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh being greeted by the headmaster of the Prince's school, Gordonstoun in Scotland. (Photo by William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 07: Princess Eugenie's First Day At Upton House School In Windsor. Her Sister, Princess Beatrice, Accompanies Her. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 07: Sarah, Duchess Of York Holding Her Daughter Princess Eugenie's Hand On Her First Day At Upton House School In Windsor. With Them Is Big Sister Princess Beatrice. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
Princess Beatrice (foreground) being taken back to Upton House School in Windsor after the summer break by her mother the Duchess of York and her sister Princess Egenie. (Photo by Tim Ockenden - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duchess of York arriving at Upton house school with Princess Beatrice and Prince Eugenie. (Photo by Tim Ockenden - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 20: Princess Beatrice Holding A Painting As She Leaves Upton House Nursery School. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM SEPTEMBER 11: Sarah, The Duchess of York, with Princess Beatrice on her first day at Upton House School, in Windsor, Berkshire. on September 11, 1991, in Windsor, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Instead of answering the question, Rhythm circled it and wrote, “What!!!! This is offensive! Sorry I won’t right [sic] this it’s rood [sic].” To hammer home her point, she also wrote a letter to her teacher. “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,” Rhythm read aloud to KSTU. “Also, the reason I didn’t write a sentence is because I just didn’t think that was nice.”

Naomi noted that her issue wasn’t with the school at all; it was with the normalization of talking about and comparing young girls’ bodies with one another. “Her teacher was so responsive and spoke to her about it and supported her decision,” Naomi said. “This isn’t about the teacher, the school, or anything—we love our school and our community. What it’s about is children being taught this everywhere, that it’s OK to make direct comparisons with weight.”

“I thought it was offensive,” Rhythm said. “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 problem came from Eureka Math, which, on its website, calls itself "the most widely used curriculum in the America." Murray City School District said this is the first year they’ve used Eureka’s materials. Melissa Hamilton, the district’s Director of Elementary Teaching and Learning, told KSTU that while the subject matter of this question was very different from the rest of the worksheet, which asked students to compare “watermelons” and “St. Bernards,” it wasn’t meant to cause controversy.

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

Initially, Eureka Math Director of Communications Chad Colby told Fox the question was “merely a comparison,” and not a “value judgment.” Colby went on to say, "It sounds like the parent is putting the value judgment on it, not the question.” He also said he disagreed with Rhythm and Naomi’s sentiment that the question should be removed.

As the story made the rounds, however, Eureka Math contacted Fox with a new statement and apology that read, "User feedback is a vital part of our culture; we are grateful to receive constructive feedback from students, teachers and parents alike. We apologize for any discomfort or offense caused by the question. Please know that we will replace this question in all future reprints, and suggest that teachers supply students with an appropriate replacement question in the interim."

Naomi called Eureka Math “irresponsible” for posing the question to fourth-graders in the first place. “If it is such a great way to teach, then I think we can look outside of the box and ask questions differently,” Naomi said. “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.”

17 PHOTOS
Celebrity kids' back-to-school pics
See Gallery
Celebrity kids' back-to-school pics
And they’re off! ❤️ #firstgrader #prekindergarten #backtoschool ✏️📚
first week of school 😩 they had us make a little family photo album she can look at when she’s sad or upset. she loves it. my heart ksosksodododosksidojsjskodmskzh

And the last of the fold. Our brunette. The "baby" embarking on her first day of 4th grade. Small but mighty, her knapsack prepared days ago, she take long strides toward a whole new year awaiting you Tabitha. X, mama

Sarah Jessica Parker's daughters, Tabitha and Marion, are rocking Parkland's new sustainable backpacks on the first day of school! 

❤️1ST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN❤️RODE THE BUS AND ERE THANG‼️😝 #taylorgang #bash
One day away from this boy’s first day of kindergarten 😢 #ACEKNUTE
Yes. I cried!! She went happily! I have two kiddos in school. Where has the time gone?! 😭☺️Photo credit @adamhousley
This was yesterday! Feels like school never ended...and they’re already back! #SeniorYear 😳😳 #EighthGrade #ProudMom ❤️
Can’t believe my little guy Finn is a big man starting kindergarten at his new school. He’s so excited to join his older brother and sisters! . This week Finn is on his new campus doing a Kindergarten prep camp. Having a great time meeting all his new friends... . As a working mom of 5 kiddos I have to say that working my beauty business aka my “side gig” has truly given me back moments I would be missing if I was working on set filming, at a photo shoot, or in the office. #mommoments can’t be recreated so with this biz I get to mom hard and boss babe hard at the same time. If you want that freedom too join my #girlempowermentgang and goto www.jointori.com ... . And, you can check out all my curated beauty products at www.beautywithtori.com PS~ #powerlips are my jam! Long wearing not drying liquid lips. I’m wearing confidence in this pic (and it’s also the name of the color 👄) . #bossbabe #teamtori #beauty #workingmom #momhard #beautybiz #team90210💋 📷by @liamaaronmcdermott2724
Nerd alert!!! The team Shepard loves school!! 🤓🤓🤓
Welp! He did it. And with flying colors. The excitement in his eyes made my heart melt. What a lovely and caring soul this one is. He couldn’t wait to meet all his new friends. He simply gave mommy and daddy a kiss and said: “Goodbye Mom and Dad. Love you.” Me on the other hand, I had to hold back the tears. 😭
And just like that... 1st grade 😩😭 heart be still. My big girl! 😍
Back to school!!!
Dropping them off is never easy. Even harder when it’s on the other coast. 🏒 @levvbure
Kissed my babies and sent them off to 3rd and 5th grade!! How did they get so BIG?! 😩 #momlife #firstdayofschool📝🍎📚
Someone is excited for his first day of school next week. Getting all our goodies set including some of our family favorites like @zolidays @babytula @avery #minions and keep it all organized with @mabelslabels. Love to have some @itzyritzy zipper bags on hand instead of plastic bags for loose snacks to keep on our #plasticfreejuly kick in August! Thanks @ggbenitezprinc & @marquecomm!!
First day of school for these two delicious dishes! I don’t know why but watching them get on the bus and drive away always makes me cry a little. Then the bus pulls out of sight, I dry my eyes, pour myself a big glass of champagne and shout “ CHEERS TO SEVEN WHOLE HOURS WITH ONLY ONE KID NEEDING MY ATTENTION!!” 🥂 Speaking of needing my attention, up now on the blog is a post on the #hideawayplacespace I created for the girls. It’s got a bit of a Harry Potter “cupboard under the stairs” vibe and they love it! Hit the link in my bio if you’re looking for a creative and inexpensive way to keep your kids entertained and look like a hero all at the same time. #thoseheavenlydays #jcrewcuts for our first day of school tradition of new outfits.
5th grade 😞🍎✏️📚♥️
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

Sign up for the Best Bites by AOL newsletter to get the most delicious recipes and hottest food trends delivered straight to your inbox every day.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.