Teacher Shuts Down Parent Unhappy Homework Uses Metric System in Viral Post

A teacher has been praised online for coming up with the perfect response to a disgruntled parent who demanded their child's math homework adhere to U.S. rather than metric measurements.

Whenever there were efforts, or talks of efforts, to bring America in line with the rest of the world by switching to the metric system, they have been met with resistance in some quarters. Fox News host Tucker Carlson in 2019 had branded the metric system of measurement as "inelegant" and "creepy."

"I'll accept the kilometer when we accept the euro—never," he told viewers at the time. Carlson is far from an isolated voice though, as one story shared to Reddit this week demonstrates.

The post, which was uploaded by LoveTheYankees, shed light on the resistance teachers are continuing to face when it comes to adopting metric measurements.

According to the message, shared by a teacher's sister, her sibling encountered issued a math problem as homework for her 4th grade class.

At first glance, the math problem itself was not an especially tough one.

It read: "Mary can swim at a rate of 2 meters per second. How long will it take her to swim to a raft 10 meters from shore?"

But matters were complicated when the teacher received an email from one of the students' parents regarding the homework.

According to the educator's sibling, she was reminded "in America we do not use the metric system" and told to make sure all math problems used "normal" units.

Eager to follow through on the request, the teacher fired back with the updated and not exactly improved math problem, presented in correct U.S. measurements.

It read: "Mary can swim at a rate of 2 yards and 6.740157480314949 inches per second. How long will it take her to swim to a raft 10 yards 2 feet and 9.700787401574757 inches from shore?"

A perfect illustration of why a change may be necessary, the unnamed teacher's efforts earned high praise on Reddit, with the post racking up over 30,000 upvotes.

Some, like harrywwc, were eager to play along with the joke, responding: "Yup, give 'em 2.54 cm and they'll take 1.609km." That comment prompted an inspired retort from ImNotAGameStopASL who called harrywwc's remark "a joke of metric proportions."

The measurement jokes flew thick and fast with dmon654 firing back: "Y'all are laughing, but don't judge a person until you walked 1.609km in their shoes." Another user, posting as slightly_amusing, commented: "As a teacher, this does bring a smile to my face." Rasmussss retorted: "It brings a skilometer to your face, come on now."

Away from the gags, the likes of liltimidbunny were left lamenting America's "stubbornness" when it came to shifting to metric units. "The entire world uses it," they said. "It's necessary because it's simpler. It's necessary because it's used in medicine and science."

Others like Crathsor, meanwhile, were left lamenting the role of the parents in this sorry story. "Some people are perpetually looking for something to complain about," they surmised.

Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment.

The debate comes hot on the heels of another math problem which went viral after earning comparisons to the infamous blue or gold dress saga.

A series of math problems.
Stock image of some math homework. A teacher had the perfect response to one parent who demanded their child's homework not be presented using the metric system. aekikuis/Getty