Pulling To Kill a Mockingbird from the curriculum hurts students

Pulling To Kill a Mockingbird from the curriculum hurts students

To the districts who banned To Kill a Mockingbird,

I first read To Kill a Mockingbird in Honors English 9 my freshman year. I can vividly remember that before even beginning the book, my class was cautioned about the vulgarity of the language and the complexity of the plotline. We were told to be prepared that this novel was designed to make us feel uncomfortable, to make us feel uneasy and disturbed. The point of To Kill a Mockingbird was to show readers how unjustly people were treated and to help us learn from our past mistakes. So, as much as I understand the reason for banning this book, I would like to urge everyone who did to reconsider.

In Biloxi, Mississippi, To Kill a Mockingbird was recently dropped from the reading curriculum. It was dropped because the language made students uncomfortable, as it should. One of the underlying purposes of the slandering language is to make students cringe. What I have learned is that when people see, do, or hear something that makes them uncomfortable, they are less likely to want to see, do, or hear that thing again. The language in To Kill a Mockingbird is undeniably harsh and when I read the novel, I was taken back. I was taken back because many of the words made my stomach churn. My stomach churned with disgust and made me feel uncomfortable.

As humans, we make mistakes. We make mistakes and we learn to never make those same mistakes ever again. Especially today, with our nation as divided as it is, I think it’s important to remember our past. By reading To Kill a Mockingbird, we are not only learning about Alabama life in 1936, but we are experiencing the uncomfortable language and slander from that time period. It’s crazy for me to think that this educational book could be taken off the expected reading list.

Many people have embraced and accepted the sudden rejection of this novel. Even though I disagree with that decision, it’s hard for me to be shocked. In this generation, we are full of hypersensitivity and student coddling. Teachers in Mississippi are saying that they can teach this lesson with other books that are less severe. There is grave injustice in our world. In order to confront these things, students must be well informed. They need to learn what evil is, and then they can be shaped into people who search for a better society.

Each year, students are being shielded more and more from our harsh past and destructive reality. To Kill a Mockingbird is uncomfortable for a reason. For teachers to think they can teach the same thing with a slightly less offending book is hard to believe. It’s for those reasons that I think To Kill a Mockingbird should be kept on the expected reading list for students.