Latest on book controversy in Biloxi

A recent uproar has surfaced about the book “To Kill a Mockingbird” being removed from reading lists and it’s causing some controversy in the community.
Today, the Biloxi Public School Board held their monthly meeting and discussed the current situation regarding the changes and says “To Kill a Mockingbird” is no longer a required reading for eighth graders.
The decision did not violate any policy because the book has not been removed from the school and still remains in libraries.
During the meeting, one woman spoke out about the book, who did not want it on the reading list and explains she was not uncomfortable about the book, she was more on the lines of outraged. Parent Yolonda Williams said, “It wasn’t just the “To Kill a Mockingbird” part, the book. They had supplemental extra reading stories that contained racial slurs as well that I thought was unnecessary for one. We have zero tolerance for bullying. We should have a zero tolerance for the use of racial slurs. The book came out in the 60s. We’ve progressed since then. The camera came out, Kodak camera, and the rotary telephone. We have smartphones now. So, I think with all the Pulitzer Prize winning books, stories that tell of that era and the horrors of that era, we don’t actually have to continue reading this book. This is just something that’s always been done.”
The Biloxi Public School District says the students that wish to continue studying the book, book sessions will be made available and students can still test on it for a grade.
The ACLU issued a statement today regarding the book. Executive Director for the ACLU of Mississippi, Jennifer Collins, stated their displeasure of removing the book, calling it censorship. She says, “Since our founding, the ACLU has opposed censorship in all forms, from books and radio to film, television, and the internet. The right to free expression includes the freedom to read whatever we choose. Yet state governments and local school districts, like the Biloxi Public School District, have worked to censor speech and ban books.”

Categories: Education, Local News, News

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