It Is a Sin to Remove “To Kill A Mockingbird” From A School’s Reading List

Jessica Fosse, Staff Writer

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“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions,” wrote author Harper Lee in her novel “To Kill A Mockingbird,” a book that 8th grade students in Biloxi, Mississippi will not read.


Biloxi schools pulled the novel from the reading list during the week of Oct. 14 because of the complaints that the language used made some students uncomfortable according to CBS News.


As Lee wrote in her novel, they are entitled to think that. But the novel was intended for the purpose of uncomfortability and to open eyes, a much needed lesson of racism across all of the United States.


Junior Mitchell Sylvies felt as thought “To Kill A Mockingbird” helped him understand the central idea of racism. He feels strongly about Biloxi schools’ removal of the book.


“I vehemently disagree on the banning of accurate representation of societal differences during one of the most important periods of American history,”said Sylvies. “I believe that tolerance can only be achieved with recognition and affirmations of past wrongdoings.”


According to the statement given to NBC News by Biloxi’s school board vice president, the school will be using other books that hold the same lesson, without giving details as to what those books will be.


Even though books might have the same lessons, they cannot be as honest as “To Kill A Mockingbird.” The “uncomfortable language” was meant to give the book more accuracy, to show what racism actually looks like. It’s message shouldn’t be considered sensitive material.


“I believe that it’s pressure from parents, current events, and organizations that forcefully persuade school boards to resort to censorship,” Sylvies said.


In 1930s Alabama, where the novel takes place, rape and race were two actual problems and still are today. As similar problems continue to occur, the book became more questionable to the school.

EHS freshmen read this book no matter which English class they take. The book resonates with some students who have read it. Having read the book myself, I would be upset if EHS removed the story.


“To Kill A Mockingbird” should not be dropped from a list because of its language; it should stay because of its message. As Lee once wrote in the novel:


“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

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It Is a Sin to Remove “To Kill A Mockingbird” From A School’s Reading List