School administrators in Biloxi, Mississippi, have removed Harper Lee’s book, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” from a junior high reading list, WLOX TV reports.
The Sun Herald reports the novel was being taught in 8th grade English language arts classes.
“There were complaints about it,” Kenny Holloway, vice president of the Biloxi School Board told the Sun Herald. ” There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable, and we can teach the same lesson with other books.”
A member of the school board told the Sun Herald the decision to pull the book from the classroom was an administrative and department decision, not something the board voted on.
The Sun Herald reports the themes for second-term language arts classes in the district are the Golden Rule and taking a stand. Eighth grade students were supposed to learn from the novel that compassion and empathy are not dependent on race or education.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” was published in 1960 and won a Pulitzer Prize in fiction.
The novel deals with racial inequality in a small Southern town in the 1930s, when Lee was a child. The book uses language that was common at the time, including a derogatory term for African-Americans, USA Today reports.
Holloway added the book will still be in the library, the Sun Herald reports.