A fourth-grade worksheet in Louisiana included terms such as “Po Pimp” and “mobstaz.” School officials have maintained that the sheet was “age appropriate.”
In a worksheet which delved into various contexts of the word “twist,” rapper Twista was cited as an example. The passage describing the rapper read:
Carl Terrell Mitchell, better known by his stage name Twista, was born in 1972. Nineteen years later, Mitchell’s first album, “Runnin’ Off at da Mouth,” debuted. In 1997, after appearing on Do or Die’s hit “Po Pimp,” Twista was signed to Atlantic Records. Under that label, he released “Adrenaline Rush” and formed the group Speedknot Mobstaz in 1998. his 2004 album Kamikaze went to number-one on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart.
Brittney Badeaux’s son attends Eaton Park Elementary in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, where the worksheet was spotted. When she read the “Twista” biography, she appears to have included a note to the child’s teacher:
“Is this really appropriate for a 9 year old!! Would you like to explain what a pimp is to my son?? I’m not happy about this.”
Badeaux contacted Hot 107.9 regarding the worksheet, and stated:
“My son doesn’t know what pimps and mobstaz are! I don’t condone ebonics at his young age.”
“I try to teach my son respect and morals. My goal everyday is for him to become better for tomorrow and ultimately grow into a great man!”
Vermilion Parish School Superintendent Jerome Puyau defending the worksheet, stating that it was in accordance with Common Core standards used in Louisiana.
“Part of the Common Core is what they call ‘real-world text. What are our students reading?”
“Are these students going to see this on the shelves in our department stores? And the answer is yes. If you search it, the first thing that comes up is the actual song (“Po Pimp”). This is real-world. We want to make sure that our students have an understanding and teaching of real-world life experiences through words, but there are teachable moments for parents, and there are teachable moments for us as educators.”
Puyau also pointed out that the use of the word “Kamikaze” in the Twista biography refers to suicide pilots, which is taught in world history classes. Puyau did eventually concede, “Out of context, this word is inappropriate. However, within the Common Core standards, they do want us to discuss real world texts.”
Do you think this worksheet is appropriate for a 4th grade class, or has the mother overreacted?
- Vermilion Parish Fourth-Grade Worksheet Using Urban Slang Raises Concern (Lanie Lee Cook: KPEL965: September 18, 2013)
- Fourth graders taught about ‘pimps’ and ‘mobstaz’ in Louisiana (Todd Starnes, FoxNews.com: September 19, 2013)