Friday 24 June 2022

Eighth grader kicked out of school for dividing by zero

Edmonton, Canada (dpo) - What was he thinking? His teacher warned him off several times but Max S. still went ahead and divided by zero. Now the 13-year-old has been expelled from Allendale junior high school in Edmonton, Alberta. Luckily, only his maths teacher was adversely affected. She is now receiving psychological support.

According to his classmates, Max S. put up his hand shortly before the end of his maths lesson and proceeded to show his teacher, Mrs Murphy, several calculations he had carried out a sheet of squared paper.
Mrs Murphy is on strong medication to help her forget what she saw.
“I will never forget her face when she saw it”, recounts Anna K. (14), another member of the class, “she turned as white as a sheet!” Kevin L. (13), recollects: “She shouted: ‘you can’t do that! You can’t do that!’ Then she snatched the sheet of paper from Max and set it on fire immediately. After that, she just broke down.”
School Principal John Tremblay has praised Mrs Murphy’s ‘quick and alert reaction’. He too is struggling to understand how this could have happened. “You simply cannot divide by zero. It goes against the laws of mathematics”, he sighs. “We consider ourselves lucky that nothing more serious happened today. In a similar case, a school in Japan apparently just disappeared along with all 500 students!”
Max S., who had already gained a reputation for violating associative and distributive law, has now been permanently expelled from school for his doings. However, he is not yet old enough to prosecute, so there will be no legal consequences.
It is as yet uncertain whether Mrs Murphy will ever be able to fully return to her previous job. Since the incident, she has had a stammer, her left eye has twitched and she is now so mentally damaged that she is only able to teach art.
ssi, dan, fed; idea: mvo; pictures: Shutterstock; first published 2017-10-27
Read the German version HERE.
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