Its A Sin to Kill “To Kill A Mockingbird”


Maria Reyes

Copies of To Kill a Mockingbird from the Urbana High School library.

Maria Reyes, Assistant Managing Editor, Opinions Editor, Web Editor

At Urbana High School, most students read To Kill a Mockingbird (TKAM) their freshman year. Although it seems like the norm for most us, not all students read TKAM their freshman year. Students in Biloxi, Mississippi, are not allowed to be taught about TKAM.

  According to The Guardian, the Biloxi School Board removed the book from the curriculum after several parents claimed, “There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable, and we can teach the same lesson with other books.

   Many politicians such as Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse commented by tweeting: “Our kids are tough enough to read a real book.” After several outcries the board decided to bring the book back in late October. Students must, however, get a permission slip in order to read the book.

  Although many people claim this book should be removed because it make others feel uncomfortable, the book offers several themes that are important. The book by Lee Harper is a coming-of-age story set in a small Southern town during the Great Depression that includes a child’s perspective on a rape case. The case is about a black man who is claimed to have raped a young white woman. The book illustrates the racial inequality of the time, which convicted an innocent black man as a guilty criminal based on his color.

  To Kill a Mockingbird introduces students to the intense but real racial prejudices in our country’s past. Urbana High School sophomore Lily Resnik said that the book “ was one of the most powerful and intense sequences [she has] ever read.”

  A good book is one that leaves a powerful impact, and TKAM certainly does that for readers. The strong themes of friendship, discrimination, and misjudgment leave a lasting impression on readers. Resnick said the “themes from TKAM resonate so much today that I still haven’t gotten it out of my head.”

  It is true that when reading TKAM the reader may be feel uncomfortable and even angry at the injustice. But it is this uncomfortableness that opens our eyes to the harsh realities which our prejudices can lead to. Resnick says that TKAM offers a “newfound awareness that has and will always be vital.”

  To Kill a Mockingbird taught Kat Poston, an Urbana junior, that even in such injustice hope can be found. Poston said that “the acceptance principle Atticus displays shows that there will always be people who will stand for human integrity.” TKAM not only opens readers to an important issue but introduces characters which can be seen as role models in the midst of such issues.

  When freshman Lauren Tulis was asked why she believed high schoolers should read TKAM, she said “it shows how far we’ve come from racial prejudice and it brings into light how prejudice was before.” Tulis enjoyed this coming-of-age story because it highlighted the “hardships in growing up, but the enlightenment in growing us as well”

  Freshman Abigail Mukete said that unlike other books TKAM “had a casual dialogue which allowed [her] to relate to the characters and issues.” Mukete believes…(To read the rest of this story, pick up a copy of The Hawkeye from the newsstand near the front office or the media center