English lesson at Moore County high school angers parents

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Teacher forced to apologize after writing racial slurs on the whiteboard as the class studies "Of Mice and Men." (WTVD)

There's a controversial lesson plan in Moore County that has some parents upset. Racial slurs were used and written on the board.

A parent shared photos with ABC11 of the Union Pines High School English teacher's classroom. The board was laced with racial slurs and vulgar offensive language. In one of the pictures, the teacher wrote the n-word and that it equaled ugly.

ABC11 shared the photos with Principal Robin Lea to understand why a teacher would do this in a classroom.

"If I just saw this picture, I would think what in the world. What is going on in this class," said Lea.

Lea says the lesson was approved and done with a purpose. Students are getting ready to read the novel "Of Mice and Men." The book was written in the 30s and is about the Great Depression. Lea says the teacher was prepping kids on what would be inside the book.

"You're going to set the stage so the children are not shocked," said Lea. "They don't know what's going on. They need to understand the time period and what was going on in American history at that time, so they can understand the context of the word."

The district says to hand students the novel without an explanation would give the impression that slurs are acceptable. There is an alternative reading for parents and students who find the book inappropriate.

"This is a partnership. Getting these kids ready for college or a career, it is a partnership. We can't do it by ourselves. So we need to have open communication and know what's going on," said Lea. "We're very transparent here at Union Pines. We're very open. Have an open door policy. We will make time for you. And to have conversations and go from there."

The parent who reached out to ABC11, who wants to remain anonymous, understands the purpose behind the lesson plan, but is still bothered that the words were written out in entirety.

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