School bans Lee book

Eighth graders in Biloxi, Missouri, will no longer be required to read To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about racial inequality and the civil rights movement that has been taught in countless classrooms and influenced generations of readers.

By CHRISTINA CARON in Washington
  • Published 18.10.17
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Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

Washington: Eighth graders in Biloxi, Missouri, will no longer be required to read To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about racial inequality and the civil rights movement that has been taught in countless classrooms and influenced generations of readers.

Kenny Holloway, the vice- president of the Biloxi School Board, told The Sun Herald there had been complaints about the book.

"There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable, and we can teach the same lesson with other books," he said. "It's still in our library. But they're going to use another book in the eighth-grade course."

It was not immediately clear if the book had already been removed from the curriculum. The district, Biloxi Public Schools, did not respond to phone calls and emails for comment.

The superintendent, Arthur McMillan, did not elaborate on when the book was pulled, instead providing a statement to The Sun Herald that said the resources used to teach students "may change periodically".

"We always strive to do what is best for our students and staff to continue to perform at the highest level," he said. The news was criticised by Arne Duncan, the former secretary of education in the Obama administration, and others on Twitter. The writer and producer Dominic Mitchell tweeted that the decision was "censorship" at its worst.

NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE