Last week, a temporary ban was put on two classic American novels “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” by the Accomack County Public Schools. The books were pulled from the shelf after ONE PARENT complained to the school board about racial slurs in both books.
It was a reading assignment for a high school class, and the mother of a biracial child said her son couldn’t get past a certain page in Huck Finn that used the N-word seven times.
I’m sorry her son felt that way, but BANNING BOOKS IS NOT OKAY!
Both books are statements AGAINST prejudice, so she has totally missed the point of the stories.
Writers often use offensive and harsh language to evoke emotion out of their readers so that they will feel empathy for the characters and fight right along with them. Is it uncomfortable? Sure…it’s supposed to be!
Banning books is a frightening and slippery slope.
When you think about it, books are the one true form of freedom of speech that we have left! Our news is slanted, our magazine and newspaper articles are often skewed, but books are still FREE from censorship.
There was a peaceful protest outside the courthouse last night where students and parents gathered to express their frustration that ONE PARENT’S complaint can disrupt the entire district’s curriculum.
This parent missed a huge teaching opportunity to talk with her child about his feelings and for that I feel sorry for them.
As writers and parents, I hope we can all agree that when we start to erase history through censorship, we will forget what we’ve already learned from it.
I haven’t seen an on-line petition circulating yet, but will post an update if I find one.
By the way, my books tend to have a Christian message…some may find THAT offensive.