When four parents in the Burbank Unified School District in California complained about five novels, middle and high school English teachers were told that they were not allowed to teach them (“Off the reading list,” Los Angeles Times, Nov. 12). Included in the banned list were “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Of Mice and Men,” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
The parents objected not only to the language but to the way Blacks were portrayed. A protest by The National Coalition Against Censorship came to naught. Although textbook censorship has a long history in this country, it is particularly dangerous today if we ever expect to teach critical thinking, which can only be developed when students are exposed to ideas that sometimes make them feel uncomfortable. No one wants to deliberately make students feel uncomfortable, but sometimes that is the price to be paid.
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