Parents, community leaders stunned after Chitling Test handed out in Lenoir class

by: Dave Faherty Updated:


LENOIR, N.C. - A test is at the center of an internal investigation at a Lenoir high school. Parents said it’s racially insensitive.

The test is nicknamed the Chitling Test and was first written more than 40 years ago.

Channel 9 found out the test is now banned from all classrooms in Caldwell County.  

Parents say it was given as an intelligence test but students were stunned by what they read. 

The test was given to an advanced placement psychology class at West Caldwell High School. This parent read one of the questions out loud that offended her most.

"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?" mother Tina Wilson read.

The test was developed by African-American sociologist Adrian Dove in 1971 to demonstrate cultural differences between races.
Another question asked how to describe a "handkerchief head." 

The school district said it was given to students in an attempt to expose them to cultural bias.

Pastor Terry Hunt said it has no place in the classroom. 

"I was flabbergasted. I was very disappointed. To us, as African-Americans, this was identifying us as a culture of people who use this type of language,” Hunt said.

Hunt was meeting with the NAACP at his church about the test when Superintendent Steve Stone showed up.

He read through the questions during the meeting.

"I think the test is inflammatory.  I really think that it is highly inappropriate for the school system or for someone to use in any setting. It is a disgusting test,” Stone said.

The superintendent apologized to parents on behalf of the school system.  Before leaving the meeting, he along with the pastors and the police chief joined hands to pray.  He said there are better ways to show cultural difference than the Chitling Test.

"There is no real good excuse. There are other ways to talk about bias without offending folks,” Stone said.

The superintendent said it may be a few days before their internal investigation is completed. He said the district will review its policy on diversity training.   

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