“To Kill a Mockingbird:” too controversial to read in school?


Photo via J.B. Lippincott & Co.

Cover of “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Amelia Mead, The Delphi Staff

To Kill a Mockingbird was published 60 years ago and it is still debated whether it should be banned from school curriculums around the country.

Many parents argue that the mature themes are not suited for a school environment. While there are many reasons the book is challenged every year,  the points made don’t hold much weight when considering what the story brings in terms of educational value.

In the novel, two siblings face the harsh realities of the south in the 1900s such as the Great Depression and racism. The father of the main characters, Atticus Finch, is a lawyer defending an innocent black man accused of rape, even with little to no chance of winning. His main goal throughout the book is to teach his kids to be accepting of all people.

The parents’ main issue with the book is the strong language and sexual assault. While the present themes would not be suitable for children, it is definitely acceptable for high schoolers to read. Not only are these issues still encountered today, but the universal themes are as well.

The themes of the novel include courage and loss adolescence. These are still evident today, and reading these books with the guidance of a teacher is a great way to learn how to process this information. To turn a blind eye would only perpetuate the ignorance. These concepts must be looked at head on and learned how to be dealt with.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a well-crafted novel that has stayed relevant for many years, and will continue to do so.