Is the Mockingbird Sending Society a Message?

Is the Mockingbird Sending Society a Message?


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As the school year began in Biloxi, Mississippi, Eighth graders will no longer read Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird as a curriculum because “there’s language in the book that makes people uncomfortable, and we can teach the same lesson with other books,” said Kenny Holloway, the vice president of the Biloxi school board.

I am drawn by both sides in this issue. On one side, this book teaches us about racial inequality and civil rights which are important things to understand.  The public democratic government has a responsibility to inform future generations about the injustices of the past that affect the attitudes and actions of the present. On the other hand, there is no doubt that there are countless books that teach the same thing without having to read a story like To Kill A Mockingbird.  There should be freedom of choice by school officials without calling the decision “censorship”.

Superintendent Arthur McMillan said “We always strive to do what is best for our students and staff to continue to perform at the highest level,”. This convinces me that taking Harper Lee’s book isn’t so bad after all. If there is an easier and better way to teach something, as long as the message stays the same, then I am all for it. What do you think? What are the limits to 1st amendment speech within school systems?

Scout,” said Atticus, “nigger-lover is just one of those terms that don’t mean anything—like snot-nose. It’s hard to explain—ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody’s favoring Negroes over and above themselves. It’s slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common, ugly term to label somebody.”

“You aren’t really a nigger-lover, then, are you?”

“I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody… I’m hard put, sometimes—baby, it’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.”

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