The report notes that The Mukilteo School District teachers are adamant that the classic American novel, written by Harper Lee and published in 1960, is “outdated and harmful.”
Set in the Deep South during the Great Depression, the book deals with themes of racial injustice, gender roles, and sexual violence to name a few. While it was awarded the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and was voted the best book of the past 125 years by New York Times readers in 2021, it has long been criticized for the racial slurs used by characters, with critics also suggesting the novel relies too heavily on stereotypes.
The report notes that “Students shared their discomfort with the way the 1960 novel about racial injustice portrays Black people,” adding “One Black teen said the book misrepresented him and other African Americans… Another complained the novel did not move her, because it wasn’t written about her — or for her.” Summit reports:
A student didn’t want to read “To Kill a Mockingbird” because it wasn’t “written about her — or for her.” That describes pretty much every book I ever read and loved. Isn’t part of the fun of reading losing yourself in an unfamiliar world? https://t.co/bVJLvzyaXY
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) November 3, 2023
The Post adds that another student “spoke about how a White teen said the n-word aloud while reading from “Mockingbird,” disobeying the teacher’s instructions to skip the slur.”
The teachers filed a motion challenging the place of the novel on the list of approved books, and successfully got it removed from ninth-grade classes.
“To Kill A Mockingbird centers on whiteness,” the teachers wrote, further claiming that “it presents a barrier to understanding and celebrating an authentic Black point of view in Civil Rights era literature and should be removed.”
Commentators note that while the novel might contain ‘difficult’ themes, it has a place in history, adding that it’s not explicit sexual material or gay porn, which has been found and challenged in many schools, prompting leftists to accuse conservatives of pushing ‘book bans’.
When conservatives call for removing pornography from schools, they get accused of “banning books.”
When left-wing teachers ban classic novels like To Kill a Mockingbird, they get praised by the media. https://t.co/cfhPNJeY7G
— 1776 Project PAC (@1776ProjectPac) November 3, 2023
Liberals are banning “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Conservatives are restricting pornography. We are not the same. https://t.co/z9uv6YbCyq
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) November 3, 2023