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Virginia schools ban ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ ‘Huckleberry Finn’ for racial slurs

Published: December 2, 2016
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Source: WPXI 11 News

A Virginia school has temporarily banned two American classics after a parent said her high school-age son was negatively impacted by the racial slurs they contain.

The decision to remove “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain and “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee came after a parent filed a complaint, WAVY reported. The parent cited excessive racial slurs as the reason for wanting the books banned, Superintendent Warren Holland told the news station.

The parent, whose son is biracial, said that her concerns are “not even just a black and white thing.”

“I keep hearing, ‘This is a classic, This is a classic,’ … I understand this is a literature classic. But at some point, I feel that children will not — or do not — truly get the classic part — the literature part, which I’m not disputing,” she said at a Nov. 15 school board meeting. “This is great literature. But there (are so many) racial slurs in there and offensive wording that you can’t get past that.”

The parent said her son, who was reading “Huckleberry Finn” for a high school assignment, couldn’t get past a certain page in that story on which the N-word appeared seven times.

A racial slur appears 219 times in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and 48 times in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

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