Pa. middle school students given ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ puzzles

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.

One 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 declined to talk when he insisted on recording their conversation.


Monessen district officials said at the meeting that they couldn’t discuss the issue because they just learned about it Monday.

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Superintendent Leanne Spazak said the circumstances of how the puzzle was selected and distributed were being investigated.

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 said in an e-mail.