In an attempt to expose a high school psychology class to cultural bias, students were presented with the racially insensitive "Chitling Test."
African-American sociologist Adrian Dove developed the test in 1971 to demonstrate cultural differences between races. In particular, the test was supposed to focus on differences in street language; most of the academic community, however, dismissed the test as racist.
The test was given to advanced placement psychology students at West Caldwell High school as an "intelligence test."
Students, however, were stunned by what they read, and many of their parents were outraged to hear that their children had been given the test.
Mother Tina Wilson read one of the questions she found most offensive.
“Cheap chitlings, not the kind you purchase at a frozen food counter, will taste rubbery unless they are cooked long enough. How soon can you quit cooking them to eat and enjoy them?” Wilson read.
Another offensive question asked how to describe a “handkerchief head.”
Pastor Terry Hunt said that he was “flabbergasted” to hear that the test had been used in a classroom.
“I was very disappointed,” Hunt said. “To us, as African-Americans, this was identifying us as a culture of people who use this type of language.”
Superintendent Steve Stone had a similar reaction to the test, which he called “disgusting.”
“I think the test is inflammatory,” Stone said. “I really think that it is highly inappropriate for the school system or for someone to use in any setting.”
An internal investigation is now being conducted at the school. The test has been banned from all classrooms in Caldwell County.
The teacher who administered the test has been suspended for three days without pay.
Stone, who apologized to parents on behalf of the school system, has said that the district will review its policy on diversity training.
“There is no real good excuse. There are other ways to talk about bias without offending folks,” Stone said.