LEXINGTON, KY (WKYT/CNN) – An English assignment at a Kentucky high school upsets students and parents because of excessive use of the N-word – with the derogatory word spelled out several times for an assignment on the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.
In the assignment, the derogatory n-word that was used, and it was not blurred in the original.
“Everyone kind of laughed, it was a nervous laugh and then we kind of sat there and asked each other, did this really happen?” said student Kiarah Raglin.
Kiarah Raglin says she was upset about the assignment, so she showed it to her mom.
“I felt sorry for her to be in this classroom – a predominantly white classroom – with a Caucasian teacher standing over her, using these words over and over. These are not words that we use in our home. These are not words that we, use – as everybody likes to say – your music. These are not words that my child is accustomed to,” said Andrea Raglin, Kiarah’s mother.
Andrea Raglin said she is not opposed to the teaching of “To Kill a Mockingbird” at her daughter’s school, but said there are more positive, more appropriate and more inclusive ways to teach the issues that are portrayed in this novel.
“The whole entire point of the book was missed because of this assignment and seven questions specifically on this word, as opposed to other parts of the book that should’ve been discussed as well,” Andrea Raglin said.
Lafayette High School Principal Bryne Jacobs says he was unaware of the assignment until it went viral on social media.
“We were embarrassed by the assignment because we know many of our students and community members are offended. I, myself, am offended by the particular assignment as well,” Jacobs said.
We are told the teacher has apologized to her students but Andrea Raglin said she hopes this incident opens a dialogue addressing racial injustice.
“The public felt the pain. The public had so many mixed reactions- that was what was interesting, it’s a bigger picture,” Andrea Raglin said.
School officials would not say if the teacher who distributed the assignment will face disciplinary action.
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