Ky. High School Apologizes After Assignment on the N-Word

Screenshot of a controversial assignment at Lexington, Ky.’s, Lafayette High School about the use of the n-word in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird

A high school in Lexington, Ky., is apologizing after an assignment focused on questions surrounding the use of the n-word, WKYT reports.

According to the report, Kiarah Raglin, a freshman at Lafayette High School, was given the assignment in English class last week, prior to fall break.


According to school Principal Bryne Jacobs, the assignment was meant to address the controversial language that students would soon be reading in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The assignment had seven statements in which the students were to answer "Agree" or "Disagree" and explain why. In each statement, the n-word was spelled out.

"[N—ger] is a derogatory word," one statement read.

"It is acceptable for a white/nonblack person to say [n—ger]," another read.

Kiarah said the assignment made her and many of her classmates uncomfortable.

"Everyone kind of laughed; it was a nervous laugh, and then we kind of sat there and asked each other, 'Did this really happen?’” Kiarah said.

Kiarah showed her mother, who also became upset.

"I felt sorry for her to be in this classroom with 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—everybody likes to say—‘your music.’ These are not words that my child is accustomed to,” Andrea Raglin said.


Raglin emphasized that she is not opposed to the teaching of To Kill a Mockingbird at the school; she just thinks that there are other positive, more appropriate, more inclusive ways of teaching the issues presented in the 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,” Raglin said.


The school's principal said he was not aware of the assignment until it went viral.

“We own the mistakes that happen. We apologize. We address them so that they do not happen again,” Jacobs said. "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.”


According to the news station, Jacobs would not discuss whether or not the teacher behind the assignment would face disciplinary action, but Jacobs said that she has apologized to students.

Read more at WKYT

Share This Story

Get our newsletter