Science teacher under fire for ‘violent’ math problem

Robby Soave | Reporter

Some parents are questioning the judgment of a Florida high school physics teacher who assigned story problems with violent imagery to students.

Fivay High School teacher Dean Liptak assigned provocative test questions, including one that asked: “A northbound car with a velocity of 100 m/s ran over a baby with a momentum of 800 kg m/s, what is the mass of the car?”

This and other test questions caused a stir among parents, many of whom said that they were inappropriate.

“I would wonder why on earth they would put that kind of wording,” said William Brown, a parent of a student at the school. “It has violent overtones and I don’t think it’s inappropriate.”

Several students, on the other hand, stood up for Liptak, giving his teaching style rave reviews.

“He’s awesome, he’s funny,” said Shenila Farooq, a sophomore.

The controversy has prompted the school to investigate Liptak

“We’re following our normal investigative process,” said Fivay principal Angie Stone in a statement.

Public educators who use violent imagery in story problems have not fared well in the past. An elementary school teacher in Georgia was forced to resign last year after including language referring to slave beatings in story problems.

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