Parents of children at a junior high school in Monessen, Pennsylvania, can barely restrain their anger over a Fifty Shades of Grey-themed word search puzzle their kids were given, ABC News is reporting.
Parents were whipped into a frenzy over terms like “paddling,” “submissive,” and “leather cuffs,” which appeared on the word search puzzle. And by the way, those three examples in the previous sentence were some of the less explicit words in the puzzle.
At least five students were given the word search, although the context in which they were given them is unclear (substitute teacher having a laugh? advanced English lesson?).
The Fifty Shades of Grey book series, for those not familiar, is a series of erotic novels (and a movie adaptation) that tells the story of an innocent and naïve young woman who falls for an exotic millionaire. The millionaire is also into bondage and domination… and that’s really all you need to know. It’s definitely not 8th-grade reading material like, say, To Kill A Mockingbird.
Needless to say, some Monessen parents wanted to have a word at Tuesday night’s school board meeting. Unfortunately, answers weren’t forthcoming, according to CBS Philadelphia.
First, officials claimed their hands were tied because they had just learned about the word search on Monday, and hadn’t had time to investigate it.
Second, parent James Carter said the school board refused to discuss the word search at the meeting at all, once they saw that he was trying to record their conversation. A school board official said that Carter was bound by rules prohibiting their meetings from being recorded.
[Note: It is not illegal to record a school board meeting in Pennsylvania, according to Digital Media Law.]
This is hardly the first time a lesson, assignment, or work sheet that parents deem inappropriate has been found to have been handed out in a school. For example: in 2014, according to this Inquisitr report, rap lyrics from artist Lil Wayne were used to teach a lesson in a Florida school. Even Lil Wayne himself thought the assignment was inappropriate.
As for the Pennsylvania Fifty Shades of Grey dustup: one school board member — Roberta Bergstedt, who wasn’t at Tuesday’s meeting — seemed to blame the controversy on the student who brought the inappropriate word search home.
“It was a huge but unintentional error and collected from the five students involved as soon as it was realized. Unfortunately one copy was taken by a student who then posted it on social media.”
Do you think Fifty Shades of Grey is appropriate lesson material for a junior high school classroom? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image courtesy of: WREG]