Students and member of the community fight against the temporary ban of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the Accomack County Public School District.
Both of these books were pulled down after mother Marie Rothstein-Williams complained about the racial and offensive material in both these books. Her biracial son’s discomfort prompted this move on her part. However, not all agree with her views.
A group of Accomack County residents formed outside the courthouse to protest the ban. One such protester and parent, Charles Knitter, helped to organize the meeting. He read a chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird at the protest to fight censorship.
“We're not going to be censored, because banning literature is, well, stupid — I don't have another way to say that," Knitter said.
The discomfort with the ban also extends to some students as well. However, one student has not been able to express her views within the school system.
Junior Sadye Saunders started a petition at her high school. This petition asked for the books to be returned to the shelves and the school curriculum. However, when the petition was discovered it was confiscated by her principal.
“Censorship blinds us,” Saunders said according to Los Angeles Times. She says that these books do not condone the use of racial slurs as Rothstein-Williams insinuated but rather, “They're showing the ignorance of using that word and having this bigotry.”
While there is sufficient support on either side of this issue, specific reasons have been listed as to why these books should not be allowed in school. Much controversy has sprung up over the use of the n-word in these books.
- Used nearly 50 times in Mockingbird
- Used more than 200 times in Huckleberry Finn
- Considered appropriate to the time period by some
- Considered inappropriate and racially offensive by others
A committee has been formed to make a decision on where these books should be placed. The superintendent will have the final say.
(Word Count 331)
Accomack Public School District placed a temporary ban on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird// This happened after a mother complained// She stated that the racial slurs in it were hard for her biracial son to read// The surrounding community is split over the ban placed on these classic novels// A group of protesters gathered at the courthouse and read a chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird// A committee has been formed to discuss the position these books should have in the curriculum// The superintendent will make the final decision///
(Word Count 94)