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



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.


To Kill a Mockingbird- Article


How do you feel about what you are reading?

  • Biloxi School District has removed the book To Kill a Mockingbird from their curriculum, as it’s language made readers feel uncomfortable. I believe students should be informed about the content and the language that can be found in the book before they read it, and then students can have the option if they’d like to read it or not. Although, 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.

What do you agree or disagree with?

  • They mentioned how “..we can teach the same lesson with other books.” Although I have not yet read the book, I believe each book teaches it’s own lesson, that no other book can teach. This is why I believe the book To Kill a Mockingbird is a unique book that should be worth reading

Can you identify with the situation?

  • I personally do not identify with this story as I have never read the book To Kill a Mockingbird, and do not know about its language and mature content.

What would be the best way to evaluate the story?

  • “We always strive to do what is best for our students and staff to continue to perform at the highest level.” This is another perspective to see the situation from; although the book teaches valuable lessons, the school wants to provide what is best for their students, without any complaints in what they are teaching.


Breaking News- Slice of Life Thursday


“Sorry, but we don’t have an answer for you guys yet,” was the answer we were told throughout the week whenever we would ask about the LSU exchange.

I understood though and patiently waited for that one day when we would hear a different answer and that day was today.  During period four, we were told that the principle would pass by around 2:30pm in order to break the news. So we waited, the whole class, impatient. But by 2:40pm, period four was over and it was now time to leave, without news or update on the trip.

Around 6:30am, as I hopped into the backseat of the car, after swim practice, my Dad said he had some news for me. But I told him to say no more, as I wanted to read about the good or bad news by myself. So as soon as I got home, I ran up the wooden staircase that leads to my room and hastily opened up my mother’s computer, to find an email with the subject: “Grade 8 LSU Exchange.” That’s when I; nervous yet excited, opened up the email and read up to the second sentence, where I was informed I had been elected to go on the trip! I actually screamed of joy, as I called Victoria and ran downstairs to my parents. I am now looking forward to going on this trip and I am willing to take risks and create memorable memories, that will last a lifetime.


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From Old, to New- Words on Wednesday


My aunt Marina, an artist, once renovated a greenhouse. In her parent’s yard, there was an abandoned greenhouse, the greenhouse in which she used to play when she was little. But, she wasn’t little anymore, in fact, she was now married, and needed a place to live; a home, in which she could start a family, a home for her future children to play in, grow and create memories. So with her artist’s perspective and creativity, she was able to visualize this greenhouse into a house. Nowadays, it is an amazing modern house, a house in which she can paint; a house where her children have grown and created memories.
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The House on the 7th Street- Words on Wednesday


I remember,

How it used to be,

The neighborhood;

So quiet,

So peaceful,

Each house painted its own color,

From light shades of beige,

To intense shades of lilac,

They all differed.



I used to heed,

The house on the 7th street,

Displaying it’s very vivid,

Shade of olive green.

The multicolor tulips,

Displayed in their ceramics,

Adding color to,

The wooden framed windows;

The ones in which,

You could notice the hanging,

Dentelle, white curtains,

That house;

So humblebrag,

Yet discreet.


But one day,

The bright pigmented houses,

Were no longer,

Small bright and pigmented houses,

But tall and unicolor buildings,

Reaching for the clouds,

Not looking down.

Except for the house on the 7th street;

In between two buildings;

Which continued displaying

It’s vivid shades of olive green.


As the years past,

The vivid shades of olive green,

Were no longer vivid,

But a sad celadon green,

Which went well with,

The dead tulips;

Drooping down,

No longer multicolor.

The house on the 7th street,


In between the buildings,

Stayed strong,

But couldn’t resist the urge,

Of one day,

Reaching for the clouds;

Never looking down.


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Pink Walls- Poetry Friday



By looking at my room,

From a broad perspective,

I decided it needed change,

It was too childish;

The pink walls,

Covered with the 1D posters,

The many arts & crafts,

The ones I had kept since the 2 nd grade,

Placed on,

The sticker-covered shelves,

In my bedroom;

It was too childish.


It was by looking at my room,

Once again,

That I saw something different;

The pink walls,


The white shelves,


With no 2nd grade arts & crafts placed on them.


It was then

That I was hit,

By a feeling of guilt,

As if,

I had done something wrong,

As if,

Those “childish” things

I was giving away,

Were somehow,

Related to my childhood,

As if,

I was giving away

Part of my childhood.


It was then,

That I had learned my lesson,

A lesson,

That I will keep with me,


How it is okay;

Not wanting to grow up so fast,

How it is okay;

Not wanting to let go.


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The Kitchen Stairs- Memoir Monday


On a late Sunday evening, once it had stopped raining, my mom asked me to let my dog, Pepsi, out one last time before going to sleep. So I hopped into my foam high heel flip-flop pair and opened the kitchen door. Because the stairs were wet, I decided to take Pepsi in my arms, just so she wouldn’t slip or hurt herself. As I reached for the first stair with my foot, half blinded because Pepsi was covering my face, my foot simply missed it, and I rolled down the hard rocky stairs, until my face smashed against the bottom wall, letting me know I had reached the end of my fall.

It was then, once my brain had processed what just happened, that I burst into tears, not caring if I would wake up or worry one of my neighbors. That’s when my Dad approached me, worried that something had happened to me, but unable to see my condition because of the dark night sky, he inferred that had let Pepsi fall out of my arms, and was crying because I felt bad for doing so, and that’s when he let others know about what he thought was going on.

So everyone gathered in the living room, petting the dog, thinking she was the one who suffered from the fall, and there I was left alone, too weak to let them know what had really happened. Realizing I was still crying, my grandmother approached me, letting me know Pepsi was okay, in a way to reassure me, until she saw the blood and injuries on me, and understood they were helping the wrong person. And that’s when everyone started paying attention to me. 

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Memoir Monday- My Scar



The scar under my eyebrow holds a memory from the past, a story I remember simply by looking in the mirror. It was another day for the 3-year-old me, living in a world full of water; my biggest fear at the time. When I heard it was shower time, I threw a typical tantrum but was trapped into the shower by my nanny Teresa, before I could escape, which only infuriated me even more.  

As soon as the water started pouring on me, I refused to give up and attempted desperately to escape the shower.  On my 3rd attempt, I was so sure that it would be the one, until I slipped on the wet shower floor, and hit open the corner of my eye against the corner of the shower.  My mom came rushing in thinking I had burnt myself badly because my screaming was so loud. Next thing I know, we are in the car on our way to the hospital, to get stitches.

We had to wait quite a while in the colorful waiting room full of games that distracted me from the pain. When it was my turn, I was scared, because the idea of someone “sewing” up my eyebrow seemed scary at the time, but as soon as they gave me a surgeon teddy bear, I decided to be brave.

The doctors were done with the stitches without me even realizing, and I felt so proud not to have cried during the whole time, until the time came to remove the sterile paper covering my eyes from seeing anything, and a hair was pulled out from my head; and that’s when I burst into tears.  We headed home, and from that day on I had learned my lesson to not escape from the shower, although, it still took two more years to conquer my fear of water.


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Everyone in my family has a different laughter. My Papa’s laughter is like an unbreakable magic spell, which can never be broken, stopped or undone. But my laughter, my laughter is like a  key which unlocks a door to my trust. Emma’s laughter is like a closed book, which can only be read by a trusted reader. Constantin’s laughter is like a colorful explosive firework, brightening the night sky, filling you with warmth and joy. But my Maman’s laughter, like a repetitive, continuous, and joyful melody that you hear on the radio, which you can’t help but sing along to.


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