Written by Josh Robinson. Media by Kayla Morton.
Many middle schools and high schools have been discussing for many years whether to ban Harper Lee’s famous novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Finally, some middle schools have banished the book, and some teachers and parents are in disagreement with the decision.
Last week, a public school district located in Biloxi, Miss., banned “To Kill a Mockingbird” from their eighth grade Language Arts program. People have said that the explicit racial content in this novel made some readers uncomfortable reading it, for the novel contains the n-word numerous times. Racial content wasn’t the only reason that people wanted “To Kill a Mockingbird” to be banned from schools. The book also has sexual content, which caused a conflict with parents not wanting their kids to continue reading this book in class.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” was published in 1960. It explores the conflicts in Civil Rights, justice, prejudice, and racism that took place in the South in 1930. The story is told by Scout Finch, who is the protagonist of the novel. Her father, Atticus Finch, works as an attorney who continuously fights to prove the innocence of Tom Robinson.
Tom is an African American male who was accused of raping a white woman. The girl was abused by her father, and Tom was trying to help her because he felt sorry for her. The girl blamed Tom and accused him of rape. Even though he tried to tell his side of the story, it was hard for a stubborn white court system to believe that an African American was innocent in the ’30s.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and valued the Civil Rights Movement, especially the unfairness of segregation in the court system. Not only it is a good story, it shows how the court system is unfair like it is in today’s society. “To Kill a Mockingbird” wasn’t the only book that was considered for banishment. Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was also an issue for certain people who do not want children to read this book because of the same reason. They don’t want their children to read challenging books because they believe that they’re not ready to handle the type of content that’s in the two novels.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” may have racial content, but it also teaches readers a lesson about what’s going on in the world. In the novel, Harper Lee stated, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” This means that you should never judge another person until you’ve really known them and understand what they’ve been through, whether they’re black or white.
The Biloxi School District isn’t the only school that banned “To Kill a Mockingbird;” there are plenty more that have refused to let their students read the novel. School districts in Virginia have pulled the book out of their class because of a parent’s complaint about the racial content. Even today, people are still protesting bringing “To Kill a Mockingbird” back into the classrooms. Some people say that banning the book teaches students to fear reading content that exists in the world.
Let us know in the comments whether or not you think “To Kill a Mockingbird” should be taught in our school systems.