“Why did Biloxi pull ‘To Kill A Mockingbird ’ from the 8th-grade lesson plan?” -Reaction Paper

 

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The article “Why did Biloxi pull ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ from the 8th-grade lesson plan?” was written by Sun Herald reporter, Karen Nelson and published on October 12, 2017.

The article is based on how the Biloxi School banned the book “To Kill a Mockingbird” from their curriculum, due to unsuitable language. Kenny Holloway, vice president of the Biloxi School Board, mentioned how “There is some language in the book that makes people feel uncomfortable”, which is the book’s purpose. The school believes the same lesson can be taught using other books, and that the book is not suitable for 8th-grade students. I believe each book teaches it’s very own lesson, that can not be taught using another book; banning “To Kill a Mockingbird” will deprive students of the opportunity to learn valuable lessons.

The book “To Kill a Mockingbird” should be considered a mandatory book for all students to read because they can learn a lot from it.When Holloway was asked about students not finishing the book, he mentions how “It’s still in our library. But they’re going to use another book in the 8th-grade course.” This means students who do want to read the book, can always go to the school library and find it, as school libraries are not allowed to ban books. The library will allow those children to learn a new lesson and apply it to their daily life; a lesson other students have been banned from learning. I do not believe banning a book from all students is a solution, and they should have the option to read it if they’d desire.

Books with the intention of making you feel uncomfortable, usually have a greater impact on the message they are trying to teach and change your perspective on the topic. A concerned reader emailed Sun Herald saying “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.” The book “To Kill a Mockingbird” has changed many reader’s perspectives since it’s publication in 1960 and it is found disturbing how Biloxi School is now preventing their students from doing so.

The book “To Kill a Mockingbird” is only teaching students the truth about the society of the 1960’s, and how it was struggling with racism. It can not be seen as a harmful tool simply because of its mature language, as Harper Lee purposely chose to use significant vocabulary. When asked Thursday morning why the book had been pulled from the course, Superintendent Arthur McMillan mentions, “We always strive to do what is best for our students and staff to continue to perform at the highest level.” This is another point of view; although the book teaches valuable lessons, the school wants to provide what is best for their students, making sure they don’t receive any complaints about what they are teaching. Although, this still does not qualify as a good enough reason to ban a book.

In conclusion, I do not agree with the Biloxi School’s decision of banning “To Kill a Mockingbird”  from their school curriculum, as it is important to inform students about the racial inequality in the society they are living in. All the book is doing is telling a true story filled with harsh realities of the society in 1960’s, which hasn’t changed completely compared to today’s society. Racism is still occurring nowadays, just like it was happening in 1960’s and it isn’t a new topic to discuss. We can not simply solve society’s racial issues by hiding the reality of the past.

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