High School Under Fire After Homework Includes Question About 9/11

November 03, 2017Nov 03, 2017

A High School in Newburyport, Massachusetts is under fire after a math assignment included a question regarding the attacks on 9/11. A question some parents believe went too far.

The question was from an algebra homework assignment which asked how long a plane was in the air before hitting the World Trade Center in 2001. Since the question has come to light, the school has since apologized. 

According to reports, a math teacher wrote: “Flight 175, one of the 9/11 planes, was traveling 586 miles per hour when it hit the World Trade Center. It had traveled a distance of 440 miles before impact. How many minutes was the plane in the air?”


Parents of the students who were given this assignment were in shock after discovering the math problem. Parents have spoken out calling the question inappropriate, disrespectful, and ultimately a poor choice on behalf of the teacher.

This incident hits especially close to home for the community due to the fact that Tom Pecorelli, a Newburyport High School alumni, was a victim of the tragic September 11th attacks. He was on Flight 11 which departed from Boston.

Angela Wadleigh, Pecorelli’s sister, has spoken out after this incident saying this is one question that should not be used. She also went on to say she felt like the teacher should personally apologize. “It might have been 16 years ago, but to some of us, it’s 16 minutes ago. It’s something you don’t ever recover from, ever,” Wadleigh said.

Superintendent Susan Viccaro issued a statement on behalf of the teacher saying no disrespect was intended through the question. “This assignment was not intended to be disrespectful. … This was an exercise of poor judgment by the educator, who intended to use the historical event as a mechanism to engage students in a thoughtful discussion,” Viccaro said.

What do you think about this? Do you think the question went too far? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section of our Facebook page! In other recent news, tragedy strikes after an 11-year-old girl has committed suicide after months of being bullied. 

Next: Tragedy: 11-Year-Old Girl Commits Suicide After Months of Being BulliedNov 02, 2017