Kill A Mockingbird Should Not Be Banned
Dear Biloxi Mississippi school board,
I am a highschool student who although is not a expert, has read To Kill a Mockingbird, and I think that the book should not be banned from schools because it's a great teaching tool for students, and i think that everyone who reads the book learns something or is able to relate something to there own experiences.The school board argues that To Kill a Mockingbird themes of racial injustice and rape is “trashy” and that it just makes people uncomfortable. I think that the school board is wrong and that the book should not be banned in the eighth grade because the book can be used as a learning tool to teach and educate students about the themes of racial injustace, rape, and the lessons that atticus taught the children throughout.
To Kill a Mockingbird should not be banned in the eight grade because of the themes of racial injustice, these injustices can be used as a learning tool for students. The school board argues that it shouldn't be taught in eighth grade and can lead to acts of racism, but i think that it should be taught because students can use it to learn about racism and if students were to experience racism they would be able to identify it and no its wrong and not how they should be treated. Also it may stop people from being racist because they can learn how damaging and wrong it is.This quote from the article helps support my argument that the themes of racial injustice in the book can be taught in a respectful way and create discussions among students.“ arguing that the book, though imperfect, can spark important discussion among students about racial tolerance especially in light of increased targeting or liberties.” It helps support the argument because it is said by LaRue who is the director of the American library association who has had experience working with this book. Some examples of racism in To Kill a Mockingbird are “A jury never looked at a defendant it has convicted, and when this jury came in, not one of them looked at Tom Robinson. The foreman handed a piece of paper to Mr Tate who handed it to the clerk who handed it to the judge. I shut my eyes. Judge taylors whas polling the jury:”Guilty… Guilty...Guilty...Guilty” ¨ They don't belong anywhere. Colored folks won't have them because they're half white; white folk won't have em cause they're colored, so they're just in-betweens, don't belong anywhere. But Mr. Dolphusnow says he's shipped two of his up north. They don't mind `em up north.`` These quotes from the book can be used as a way to teach eighth grade students about racial inequalities and injustices and help spark meaningful discussions on racism during this time period and even today, rather than, what the school board argues, encouraging them to be racist. So i think if taught properly eighth grade students can read the book and be educated on racism at the same time.
To Kill a Mockingbird should also be taught in the eighth grade, because although it has themes of sexual assault, these themes can be a teaching experience for eighth grade.The school bored considers the book to be ¨trashy¨ because of its themes of rape, But I think even with these mentshions of rape,eighth grade students should be allowed to read To kill a Mockingbird, because the book will inform the students about rape. And can help students know that they are not alone if something ever happened to them in the past or future. It may also teach some students to take rape more seriously and not see it as a laughing matter therefore it may pervent it from happing. These quotes from the book can be used to teach even if they do make students uncomfortable “He sighed, and said rape was carnel knowledge of a female by force without consent. Well if that's all it is why did Caplurnia dry me up when i asked her what it was?” (chapter 14)Scouts ignorance, because of her age, in this paragraph can teach eighth grade students about rape and help educate them on what it is and why it is wrong so they wont end up as ignorant as scout was (although scout was very young when she asked this question much younger then the eighth grade). Another example is ¨ Then she burst into real tears. Her shoulders shook with angry sobs. She was as good as her word. She answered no more questions, even when Mr.gilmer tried to get her back on the track. I guess if she hadn't been so poor and ignorant, judge taylor would have put her under the jail for contempt she has shown everybody in the courtroom.``( chapter 18) The emotions felt in this quote will spark emotion and feelings in eighth grade students so they can, learn about and be taught about, the seriousness of rape and how it effects people and also how false claims effect people, rather then the students viewing it as trashy. In the Article LaRue says the school bored ¨Just says it makes people uncomfortable LaRue finds this argument unconvincing, contending “the whole point to classics is they challenge the way we think about things.¨ I think LaRues argument about challenging the way we think about things can help support my argument that the book should not be banned for its themes of sexual assault, because yes it may make some students uncomfortable but if taught properly it can inform students about the severity of sexual assault.
Lastly, To Kill a Mockingbird should not be banned in the eighth grade because the lessons that atticus teaches the children are lessons that any student should learn. The school board argues that the book has bad messages and is ¨trashy¨, But the messages that atticus teaches the children can teach students not to harm the innocent, to have courage in the face of adversity, and to not judge a person but to have empathy for others.Which is great lessons that all students of any age should learn and be encouraged to follow. If To Kill a Mockingbird was to be banned in the eighth grade students would not learn these messages, and lessons until highschool. But if students were to learn them in eighth grade they would have learned them earlier, therefore giving them the ability to incorporate these lessons into their life starting in the eighth grade and into the future. The lessons that Atticus teaches the kids from the book are ¨’but remember it's a sin To Kill a Mockingbird.¨ ¨ I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. Its when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.¨ ¨ you never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view.¨ These three lessons that Attius teaches the children are so very important for students to learn in the eighth grade because they are such useful messages for everyday life. At the very end of Becky Littles article it says ¨Again, this doesn’t mean that To Kill a Mockingbird shouldn’t be taught in schools. But it does suggest that teachers should encourage their students to think critically about Atticus, not just the men who oppose him.¨ Teachers can teach students about Atticus's positive messages and how to use them in everyday life, But they also should teach the students about Atticus flaws and start discussions about them. Thus, teaching the students instead of banning the book altogether.
To sum up, I am not a expert i am to put it simply, a highschool student who has read the book and thinks that it should not be banned from the eighth grade, but instead thinks the book can be used as a learning tool to teach and educate students about the themes of racial injustace, rape, and the lessons that atticus taught the children throughout the book. So i'm asking you not to ban the book altogether but to teach and to educate about the book to the eighth grade students and to look at the flaws the book has and also teach about those along with teaching the positives.