An eighth-grade teacher at a public school in small-town Arizona has angered a slew of local parents by assigning a rap song by Ice Cube for students to analyze as poetry.
In an attempt to illustrate poetic elements such as metaphors and similes, the unidentified teacher showed his students at Florence K-8 School the music video for “Who’s the Mack,” reports Phoenix NBC affiliate KPNX.
He also sent students home with a homework assignment about the song.
The kerfuffle appears to have begun late last week.
Several unhappy parents contacted school district officials when they saw the homework assignment over the weekend.
“This is not something that 12 or 13-year-old kids need to be a part of,” mad mom Sarah Kelley told Phoenix Fox affiliate KSAZ-TV. “Is it in everyday life? I get that, but it’s not for a classroom setting.”
Parent Carrie Scott, who has daughter in the class, agreed.
“What the hell was he thinking?” Scott said in an interview with area CBS station KPHO. “It was horrifying. It was a nightmare. How do you grade this? How do you grade a 13-year-old talking about sexual requests for money?”
“Who’s the Mack” is a cautionary tale about encountering and dealing with manipulative people. Those people include a pimp, a drug-addicted vagrant and a lady’s man.
The golden oldie appeared on Ice Cube’s 1990 debut solo album “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted” during an earlier period in the legendary rapper’s career that was more raw and gritty than, say, “21 Jump Street.”
Who’s the mack? Is it some brother in a big hat
Thinking he can get any bitch with a good rap?
Rolling in a fucked-up Lincoln
Here’s another few lines:
When I see the boy pinned to your earlobe
He’s talking shit and you crack a smile
When he tell you that he can go buck wild
For a girl like you and make it feel good
School district officials say they won’t disclose the taxpayer-funded teacher’s name because the assignment is a personnel matter.
They have also said the teacher has been “reassigned to home” — which appears to be a polite phrase for “suspended with pay.”
“Our administrative team at Florence K-8 acted quickly to investigate the claim and found the song and assignment to be inappropriate,” school district officials said in a self-laudatory statement obtained by KPNX. “We assure you that the safety and well-being of our students is our priority.”
This incident is not the first time an American teacher has landed in hot water for assigning rap lyrics. Just last year, for example, an unidentified eighth-grade English teacher at The Charter School of Boynton Beach in South Florida was suspended for assigning rapper Lil Wayne’s raunchy, f-bomb-filled lyrics as required homework. (RELATED: Rapper Lil Wayne Advises Teachers Not Use The Rhymes He Busts As A Teaching Tool)