Editor’s note: Students in Jennifer Sinclair’s English 2 class at West High School submitted letters to the editor about the Biloxi, Miss., school district banning the classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” from its eighth-grade reading list because of racist language. This is a selection of those letters.
This past week we’ve been talking about whether “To Kill a Mockingbird” should be banned from all schools. I feel it shouldn’t because kids in this generation need to learn what this book has to say.
It’s best we learn young than be shielded all our lives. The streets are full of this awful language: racial slurs, cursing, rape, and many other “uncomfortable situations” that are sadly part of the real world and we can’t stop it.
This book not only shines a light on the topic of rape, but false accusations of rape and the culture in the Great Depression. This book is narrated in the eyes of a young girl, Scout. It follows her and her big brother as they grow and mature in the book. We aren’t very far into the book but as we read on, the more the book gets interesting.
If you focus more on the negative than the true purpose of the book, you are just as ignorant as the children who refuse it because of one curse word.
The reason I think “To Kill a Mockingbird” should be banned is because students that age shouldn’t be reading that book with inappropriate language and violence. It shouldn’t be banned in high school, but it should in middle school.
In middle school, most of the students are immature and don’t understand words like that. If violence spreads to them, there will be problems such as fights, negativity, jail and much more violence. In our high school there are fewer problems now than ever. In high school, some students act immature and not act their own age. Students will think it’s OK to say bad language to others.
I believe that “To Kill a Mockingbird” shouldn’t have been banned and that all kids are going to get uncomfortable at times. Hearing the language and becoming comfortable is a part of the learning and growing-up process.
Yes, there are certain things while reading that could possibly make kids uncomfortable, but as long as a teacher takes time and is cautious about explaining the language that is used, then the book can be read just like any other book. We all have to grow up at some point.
The events that happen in the novel are realistic. I do believe there is a certain age the book should be read, but I do not believe the novel should have been banned.
We have been reading a book that faces the harsh truth of American history and does not hold back when it comes to showing us discrimination. “To Kill a Mockingbird” has been getting yanked out of some schools for having some language that makes people uncomfortable. The language that is used in the book is censored in some newspapers, but this is also an award-winning book that can educate kids on topics that actually matter. If you don’t let kids get out of their comfort zone, how will they ever learn?
The book was written 57 years ago in a different time. If school districts keep removing “To Kill a Mockingbird, the kids won’t be able to see real problems with the world. Harper Lee wrote a story not everyone will like, but it’s a book to appreciate and learn from.
I think this book should be banned because a lot of people find it offensive. It uses the N-word in dialogue and people don’t like it.
Others may argue that this book may help students in real-life situations, but it makes some kids uncomfortable. No kid should have to put up with that. The book has about 300 formal complaints reported from schools, colleges and public libraries. This is why the book should be banned.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” may be hard to read, but it’s part of our history and you can’t just throw that away like it never happened. This book can also be used as an example for ways not to treat people by their skin color.
I understand that this book is a hard topic, but you have to learn about it in life whether it’s in or outside of school. This book helps you experience things through the eyes of a different age and a different culture.
The book was banned because the topic and language in the book makes people uncomfortable. This might be true, but the students hear this kind of language in the hallways and outside of school, so why can’t they be comfortable reading about the N-word’s history?
It certainly can’t be any worse than what they already see daily on social media. Every book lets you enter into a different world, and learn to see things from a different angle.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” has some inappropriate language, but people are misunderstanding the book’s purpose.
It teaches a lesson about life during the Great Depression. Back then, there was a lot of racism and children should learn the history.
Books allow you to experience things through different perspectives. The author might be a different age, gender, or have a different culture. You can learn from anyone if you are open minded.
Children may be temporarily uncomfortable, but the book teaches an imporant lesson. “To Kill a Mockingbird” should not be banned from any middle school nor high school because students learn a major lesson that might help them later.
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