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Mississippi school district pulls ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ from its lesson plan due to ‘uncomfortable’ language

The Biloxi School District has pulled Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” from a junior-high reading list after complaints that some of the language in the novel “makes people uncomfortable,” reports The Sun-Herald.

An email to the Sun-Herald from a concerned parent said the decision to pull the book was made “mid-lesson plan” and that students wouldn’t be allowed to finish the book in class because of the use of the ‘N’ word.

The school district said the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel teaches students that race and education should be irrelevant in matters of compassion and empathy and that other books can teach the same concepts.

A brief history of banned books in Mississippi

“There are many resources and materials that are available to teach state academic standards to our student,” district superintendent Arthur McMillan told the Sun-Herald. “These resources may change periodically. We always strive to do what is best for our students and staff to continue to perform at the highest level.”

The parent who contacted the Gulf Coast newspaper called it “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.”

Read the full story: Biloxi School District pulls ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ from the 8th grade reading classes | The Sun Herald

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alex.mcdaniel@magnoliastatelive.com

Alex McDaniel is the director of content and audience development for Magnolia State Live. She's also the editorial director at Oxford Newsmedia, where she oversees The Oxford Eagle, Oxford Magazine and several other publications.

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