Teacher in hot water over Ice Cube school assignment

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FLORENCE, Arizona — Parents in the Florence Unified School District had an icy response to a poetry lesson in an 8th grade class. The lesson used a music video and lyrics from an Ice Cube rap song. The 1990 song, titled, “Who’s the Mack?” includes multiple curse words and references to prostitution. A language arts teacher at Florence K-8 school played the music video and included the lyrics to the song in a lesson that asked students to identify similes, metaphors and other poetic elements.

“What the hell was he thinking?” asked parent Carrie Scott, whose daughter is in the class. “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?”

District officials said they began a formal investigation into the incident Monday and determined the content was inappropriate.

“The language is the biggest issue,” Florence Unified School District spokesperson Richard Franco said. “It’s not something that’s part of our curriculum in any way, shape or form and it’s not something that our district condones being taught in our classes.”

Franco said all teachers are required to submit lesson plans for the upcoming week. He said the teacher’s submitted plan did not mention anything about the Ice Cube song.

The teacher, whose name was not released, has been placed on “home assignment” while the district confers with the board about policies and procedures.

Scott said she believed the teacher, who is in his first year at the school, should be fired.

“I believe a teacher is paid to teach my child how to read and write and do math and learn history,” Scott says. “It’s my job as a parent if I want to teach them the lessons about pimps and hookers. That’s my job. That’s not their job to expose my children to explicit music or lyrics.”