N-Word: Is it appropriate or not in school education? - Fox 2 News Headlines

N-Word: Is it appropriate or not in school education?

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

CPS parents and teachers are outraged at a controversial history lesson that would have elementary students reading a book with the N-word.

"I opened the packet and just lo and behold…I kinda opened to this page and the first word I saw was the N-word," said Dr. Jeronna Hopkins, a teacher.

Dr. Hopkins also saw a Ku Klux Klan poster from the 60's, which is part of a handout that may be given to students in third through fifth grade as part of a reading assignment. The same section, copied from the book "Witnesses to Freedom," also contains several other uses of the N-Word.

"I'm very upset with this literature, I don't feel comfortable reading this, I don't feel comfortable looking at this and I don't feel comfortable presenting this to children," Dr, Hopkins added.

Dr. Hopkins teaches fifth grade at Portage Park Elementary. She's been there 14 years and said that kids were to be given the packet for silent reading and discussion afterwards.

"You can teach about civil rights without using the N-word, cause I've done it my whole career," said Dr. Hopkins. "I don't understand how you teach this in classroom without somebody saying the word, which is a big problem for me, cause that's a word that we just don't say."

The reading was suggested by someone at the CPS Network, which oversees groups of schools.

When FOX 32 News showed snapshots of the literature to parents, some were stunned.

"Is this something you would want you kids doing in silent reading? No, absolutely not, not at this point no," said Kendrea Rodriguez, a parent.

"I don't know what the world is coming to, I can't believe you are showing me this right now," said Wadie Khaled, another parent.

Others, while troubled, felt the reading might be okay in the right context.

"I would hope, knowing this school, my kids have been coming here for a long time already, that they would use it appropriately, or at least teach them what the word means before they even use it," said parent Ariana Rivera.

However, Dr. Hopkins believes presenting the material to kids so young would be inappropriate.

"If that's the Portage Park way, we have a long way to go," added Dr, Hopkins.

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