MONESSEN, Pa. — Parents in a Pennsylvania school district are turning 50 shades of red over word search puzzles given to middle school students based on an erotic novel and movie.
The students in Monessen were given puzzles based on “Fifty Shades of Grey” that contained terms including “spanking,” ‘‘submissive,” ‘‘leather cuffs” and “bondage.” Other words on the list were more explicit.
Parent James Carter complained about it at Tuesday night’s school board meeting, saying he tried to question the school’s principal and dean of students, but they refused to talk when he insisted on recording their conversation.
“I wanted to record the conversation because a lot of parents had questions about it, and I was denied that,” Carter told the board.
Monessen district officials said at the meeting that they couldn’t discuss the issue because they just learned about it Monday. Superintendent Leanne Spazak said the circumstances of the puzzle are under investigation.
One school board member who didn’t attend the meeting told WTAE-TV that the puzzle was a big mistake.
“It was a huge but unintentional error and collected from the five students involved as soon as it was realized,” Roberta Bergstedt wrote in an email.
“Unfortunately one copy was taken by a student who then posted it on social media.”
The movie opens in theaters Friday. It’s based on a best-selling book by E L James about a college student and her torrid affair with a 27-year-old billionaire with a penchant for bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism.