Fifth-grade History Lesson Uses "N-word" in Crossword Puzzle

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.)


WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 10186196