To Kill a Mockingbird has been removed from a Mississippi school district’s eighth grade syllabus because the novel “makes people uncomfortable,” according to a Thursday-published report in Sun Herald.
Biloxi School Board’s vice president Kenny Holloway claimed to have received complaints about the American classic:
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.
The removal of the book was an administrative decision rather than one prompted by the school board.
Use of the n-word in To Kill a Mockingbird was cited as the cause of the complaints, according to an email sent to Sun Herald from a “concerned reader”; the reader added:
I think it is one of the most disturbing examples of censorship I have ever heard, in that the themes in the story humanize all people regardless of their social status, education level, intellect, and of course, race. It would be difficult to find a time when it was more relevant than in days like these.
Ubiquitous across America’s elementary and high schools, the novel’s themes include the pursuit of racial equality and justice in the face of prejudice. Atticus Finch, the novel’s protagonist, is an exemplar of integrity.
In 2010, a Florida high school cancelled a production of To Kill a Mockingbird because of its use of the n-word.
H/T Reid Nakamura at The Wrap.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.