911 Math Homework

A child called 911 to report an overflowing toilet. As a result, that child's mother was arrested.

Prosecutors say the mother locked two young children inside a home in New Salisbury and was on a job working more than 100 miles away in Indianapolis.

"Harrison County 911, what is your emergency?" a dispatcher asked.
"Um, can you please contact my mom because...um...the toilet is broken and it's flooding—it's leaking out everywhere!" the child said.

"I am 9 years old with my twin brother," the boy explained. "And are you by yourself?" the dispatcher asked. "Where's your parents?" the dispatcher asked. "My dad doesn't live here, and my mom is at work, all the way in Indianapolis," the child told the dispatcher.

Schalk says after breaking into the home through a window, what emergency crews found was pretty disturbing. "Once they were inside, they were able to see numerous hazards including space heaters that were plugged in," he said. If convicted, the mother faces six months to three years in prison.

Click HERE to listen to the entire 911 call.


Newburyport school administrators apologized Thursday for homework students were given containing a math problem about the September 11th tragedy.

Parents of Newburyport High School students were outraged after an algebra problem asked students to determine how long one of the planes was in the air before it hit the World Trade Center in 2001. 

“I thought it was inappropriate,” parent Paula Quill told Boston 25 News. “I disagree with that totally, wholeheartedly.”

Parents say there’s simply no excuse for how the question was worded.

“Thinking about something so sad, with everything else going on in the world, I don’t think it was the right thing to do,” grandparent Carol Bogard told Boston 25 news. 

But parents say what’s worse is the school’s personal connection to the tragedy. Tom Pecorelli, a Newburyport High School alumnus, was killed on Flight 11.

“It’s very disrespectful, that’s one of the first things that comes to mind, it’s really disrespectful,” Pecorelli’s sister Angela Wadleigh told Boston 25 News over the phone Wednesday.

Wadleigh says when she heard the question, it immediately took her back to the worst day of her life.

“Out of thousands of examples you could use in math, this is not one you could use,” she said. 

In a statement, Superintendent Susan Viccaro told us, “this was 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 mechanics to engage students in a thoughtful discussion.”

Read more from Fox 25 Boston.


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