A Mississippi district’s decision to pull To Kill a Mockingbird from its 8th grade reading list has lit up Twitter, grabbed newspaper headlines as far away as England, and renewed debate about censorship in schools and the book’s enduring value in 2017.
The novel was pulled, according to the Biloxi district, because parents complained that language in the book made them uncomfortable. A reader of a local newspaper said it related to the “use of the N-word.”
National reaction was swift and overwhelmingly in favor of the American classic, which won a Pulitizer Prize and was adapted into an Oscar-winning film. The plot deals with rape and racial inequality in a small Southern town.
A version of this article appeared in the October 25, 2017 edition of Education Week as District’s Decision to Pull Novel Revives Debate on Censorship, Book’s Lessons