Homework assignment focusing on ‘N-word’ angers Wayne County parents

WAYNE COUNTY, Ohio – A homework assignment about the N- word had many parents in Wayne County shocked and angry Tuesday. The worksheet was titled, “Is the N-word going mainstream” and contained an article from ABC News from April 10th, 2002.

The assignment was given to 9th graders at Rittman High School, who are reading the book "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Some parents of Rittman students told FOX8 it was inappropriate for the school to give an article out to students that used the word so many times without a printed explanation of why it is inappropriate and offensive.

Principal Nick Evans told FOX8 the teacher intended to use the worksheet as a way to address the fact that the word is used in the book and to tell students it’s not appropriate to use it at school.

Evans said in an email:
“Some English classes at Rittman High School are reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The purpose of the ABC news article (April 10, 2002) distributed to students was to emphasize that reading a word in a book does not make it appropriate to use the word in everyday conversation. The teacher was trying to be proactive in her education of students in regard to vernacular utilized in this classic piece of literature.”

Administrators told one parent Wednesday that if the worksheet is used again, they would add a disclaimer explaining why it’s inappropriate and would review the curriculum.