Words by Shanice Stephanie
Biloxi Administrators decided to pull the novel To Kill a Mockingbird from the 8th grade curriculum this week after receiving complaints that some of the books language “makes people uncomfortable.” It has also been reported that the book was pulled from the lesson plan because it contained the “N” word.
The American novel was published and written in 1960 by Harper Lee, winning the Pulitzer Prize and was made into an Oscar-winning film in 1962 starring Gregory Peck. The novel focuses on rape and racial inequality in a small southern town. The story follows Tom Robinson a Black man falsely accused of raping a young white woman in the depression era. Small town lawyer Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) agrees to defend him, evoking a violent wave of racist acts. Despite all of the strong evidence proving Robinson’s innocence, he was still found guilty of rape.
A message was posted on the schools website stating To Kill a Mockingbird teaches students that compassion and empathy don’t depend upon race or education.
Kenny Holloway, Vice President of the Biloxi School Board said, “There were complaints about it. There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable, and we can teach the same lesson with other books. It’s still in our library, but they’re going to use another book in the 8th grade course.”
What are your thoughts on this? Should children be “protected” from the reality of the world or will that make matters worse?