Indiana School Faces Backlash For Use of N-Word in History Education

The lesson underscores the complexities of addressing historical language in contemporary educational contexts.

An Indiana school affirmed its decision to include the N-word in its 6th- and 7th-grade history lessons.

Administration for Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Hobart, Ind. maintains that the slur is used solely to address historical realities within a context of learning and understanding.

The school’s decision comes in response to parental complaints regarding the implementation of the language in the curriculum. In one lesson, the N-word is used to illustrate "the distinction between Bob Smith the plantation owner and Bob Smith the slave."

One teacher wrote in an email that the purpose of using the slur was to explain to students “the importance of slavery to plantation owners,” per The Daily Beast.

However, some parents and students argued that the inclusion of this term was unnecessary. One parent told NBC 5 News, “It was very inappropriate and disturbing, and upsetting."

“That could have just ended right there,” another parent said. “The word did not even need to be said."

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Principal Molly Arroyo addressed the concerns by stating in an email to The Daily Beast that the school neither endorses nor tolerates the use of this language in any other context.

According to Education Week, conservative critics have challenged the teaching of systemic racism in classrooms.

“Teaching about enslaved people, and its ramifications for today, clearly requires time, thought, and transparency,” writes contributor Larry Ferlazzo.

“Teaching about enslavement means being honest about anti-Blackness and how Black people have been clawing for any chance of true humanity in this experiment known as America,” said curriculum expert Keturah Proctor, per Education Week.

“With that, you must be able to openly say that without the forced labor of Black people, there would be no America.”

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