Union Grove parent upset over crossword puzzle homework

UNION GROVE (WITI) -- A social studies assignment has become a lesson for a Union Grove parent. Her eighth-grader brought home a crossword puzzle for homework, and the student's mother said she was shocked when she saw a definition on the page.

The subject of the assignment was liberalism vs. conservatism. When one parent happened to see the definition of conservatism on her daughter's crossword puzzle, she was upset with the definition given, and wanted to find out why this was being taught this way.

"I can't even explain to you how shocked I was. I was shocked when I saw it!" Tamra Varebrook said.

It might be hard to believe that a simple crossword puzzle, brought home as a homework assignment by Varebrook's 13-year-old daughter could elicit such a response.

"I read it, I picked up the crossword puzzle, I thought this can't be right," Varebrook said.

It was two down on the crossword that grabbed her attention Tuesday night, April 9th.

"I looked at it and reading the description of conservatism, being that we are the party that wants to restrict all personal freedoms struck me as pretty much incorrect," Varebrook said.

It was part of her daughter's eighth-grade homework on the subject of liberalism vs. conservatism.

After a friend posted the crossword puzzle to social media, the school received a number of calls. School Superintendent Brenda Stevenson called Varebrook about the assignment.

"She was very, very sympathetic and said it was horrible, it's not true.  The teacher feels horrible," Varebrook said.

Stevenson issued the following statement to FOX6 News regarding the lesson:

"At Union Grove Elementary School we have always encouraged parent feedback and have strove to present a balanced curriculum.  We sincerely regret any disapproval associated with this particular assignment.  We will continue to evaluate materials used in the classroom."

Now, Varebrook is hoping parents understand they too can have a role in what is taught at school.

"We have to be involved as parents, otherwise there's nothing we can do to stop it," Varebrook said.

Varebrook says she is happy with the way the school has handled the situation. She says she has a hard time believing the teacher didn't know what was being taught in the lesson, which consists of 50 pages.