Minnesota School Gives Into Over Sensitive Complaints And Drops Two Classics From Their Curriculum.
Good books are important for developing minds. They provide insight into a different time and give perspectives that students may not have experienced yet in their day to day lives. Minnesota, Duluth District Schools have decided to drop To Kill A Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Supposedly these classic books were making some students uncomfortable. Probably the same kind of students that will be looking for safe places in college.
“The feedback that we’ve received is that it makes many students feel uncomfortable,” said Michael Cary, director of curriculum and instruction for the district. “Conversations about race are an important topic, and we want to make sure we address those conversations in a way that works well for all of our students.”
To Kill A Mockingbird and The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn are important pieces of literature. They expose students to racism, prejudice, and the idea that you should not judge a book by its societal cover.
Stephan Witherspoon, president of the Duluth chapter of the NAACP, called the move “long overdue.” “Our kids don’t need to read the ‘N’ word in school,” Witherspoon said. “They deal with that every day out in the community and in their life. Racism still exists in a very big way.”
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Students need to be exposed to adversity. Racial slurs are not only a part of our history but still exist today. I see where someone might find these words offensive, but where would you rather have a student first come in contact with slurs? Out in the world? Or in a story that is being covered in a classroom, where a Teacher can guide the students through the material and point out the great lessons to be learned.
Censoring books and material does not protect students from racism. It simply leaves the students less prepared for the real world where they might experience it first hand.