Schools Ban “To Kill A Mockingbird”


Jay Smith, Editor

Earlier this week, a school district in Biloxi, Mississippi made a decision to remove the classic American novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” from their eighth grade curriculum. This was due to a complaint by some people that argue that the book has a rather graphic content throughout the story and complaints about the language, specifically the racial slurs that are present throughout the book. However, this isn’t the first time this novel was banned, as this novel considered controversial for some ever since its release.

This novel was challenged against as early as 1966 when a school board in Hanover County, Virginia removed it due to the book’s theme of rape and the “immoral” content. Later in the 70s and 80s, similar arguments were used for justifying the ban on the novel. However, many people fought back by arguing its importance to education and sending letters to school boards to unban it. Even today, many continue to defend this novel that many consider important.

When people heard the news, many went to twitter to voice their opinion. Many were disappointed in the decision and criticized it. In this debate, important political figures from both political parties were overwhelmingly against the ban, with people such as President Obama’s former secretary of education Arne Duncan and Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse being one of the many political figures who put out their two cents.

The students were also very surprised by this decision. “I feel as if a book such as that could be an important time piece that can help us reflect on the past and help teach us not to be as prejudiced as those decades ago were.” Catie McNabb (10). Other people were also surprised at the reasoning behind the ban. “The whole of the work should not be determined by some simple language; kids will see those words later in life, whether people like it or not, and being exposed to them in a learning environment may prevent the use of language hatefully.” Bailey Fritz (12).

Even in a society like ours, there are still things that we all equally think are important and necessary for the future generation. When the school board decided to ban a book with sensitive and important topics such as racism, an overwhelming majority of the people with different morals and backgrounds expressed their disapproval towards the ban. In somewhere like high school, it becomes crucial for the students to be immersed with great, thought provoking literature that may very well change their viewpoint for the good.