To Kill A Mockingbird Controversy


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The book in question.

Mason Barish, Staff Writer

Harper Lee’s 1960 classic, To Kill A Mockingbird, has been a timeless staple since its release. The popularity of the novel is due in part to its role in school curriculums, and the many times it has been removed from said curriculums. The first large case of a ban of the book was in 1966 in Hanover County, Virginia. The county cited that the book was immoral and that the mentions of rape and charge weren’t appropriate.

After that, it faced continuous challenges in schools because it was continuously called too inappropriate for teaching. Though many parents argued against the decision to remove it, and some were successful in changing the schools’ minds, it still remains a controversial book.

Recently, places like Minnesota and Missouri have been under fire for removing the book, and the reason for the book’s absence is a confusing one. The main complaint is that it makes people uncomfortable, which opponents of the ban have argued is one of the big points of the book, given that it focuses a lot of race relations in the Deep South prior to civil rights.

Personally, I think that To Kill A Mockingbird is a great book to read and learn from. It isn’t a major necessity, but a ban of the book is a horrible idea. I think it is important to read, and, with a class discussion, could form a really positive environment. Consider asking your school to add To Kill A Mockingbird to your curriculum if it isn’t there already.

These bans have set an example, in which books that may strongly or passionately promote an idea or ideology can end up silenced. Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 are great examples of a books that conveys larger beliefs or thoughts. The irony of banning books like Fahrenheit 451 or 1984 is that they are directly against censorship and for the freedom of speech and thought. No book should face an outright ban.

We are lucky as a school to have most books available here at Green Hope so we can learn from them. I’m happy to say that we have a good open environment for discussion. I hope TKAM is still taught in the future.