DUNLAP, Tenn. (AP) -- A crossword puzzle assigned as a homework lesson for some Sequatchie County fifth-graders studying a book about the 19th century South asked them to use the n-word as an answer.
At least one parent complained and the teacher has apologized.
Sequatchie County Middle School principal Donald Johnson says the teacher obtained the crossword from a subscription Web site, EdHelper.com.
A parent, Clifford Branan, told WTVC-TV in Chattanooga that his son's teacher assigned the homework Friday as a supplement to "Sounder," a book his class is reading.
The book is commonly used in classrooms nationwide to illustrate racial bigotry and sharecropping hardships through the eyes of a young black boy.
Branan said he cannot believe the puzzle with words like cabin, smokehouse and lantern also included the N-word along with its clue, "An insulting way to label a black person."
The principal says a mistake was made, and the word should have never come up on a worksheet.
Johnson said the puzzle answers were words associated with the book. He declined to identify the teacher.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)