‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ in hot seat in WA school district

Chandler said several teachers did defend the book before the textbook committee, saying the book’s themes to kill a robin Still relevant today, and this book helps students develop critical thinking. They said districts should consider additional training for teachers to deal with sensitive text.

Chandler said the teacher’s request was the first time in 20 years that it had been proposed to remove text from the Mukilteo curriculum. Listed as required reading in 2016 as part of curriculum adoption, the book has been approved in the region since 1992.

Mukilteo is not alone.Bellevue and school districts across the country also reconsider Robin as part of the middle and high school curriculum.

Their call also echoes writers who have questioned what many fans see as ethical issues in recent decades RobinThe story highlights Atticus and Scout as examples of how to be a good person living in a racist society.

“Many defenders Robin As a course choice, they imagine a student who was emboldened by Atticus to ‘fight for justice’ or inspired by Scout in a better society than the society she was born in,” writer Alice Randall wrote for NBC News in 2017. “But imagine, Today you are an African-American eighth-grade boy in Mississippi who was asked to read Robin. Maybe it will deepen your suspicion that if you are charged with someone like Tom Robinson, you are unlikely to get a fair trial. “

The popularity of this book is deep. Oprah Winfrey called it her favorite novel. PBS viewers pick it as top novel in 2018 special great american read.

The novel’s narrator, Scooter, tells the story of the trial of a black man who was falsely accused of raping and assaulting a white woman — events that revealed to Scooter’s 6-year-old self the racism, sexism and classism in the community . The events take place in the 1930s in a fictional Alabama town set in the place where the author grew up. But many readers also admired Scout’s father, attorney Atticus Finch, who represented the innocent Tom Robinson on trial, despite Finch’s expected pushback and legal injustice.

Since the 1960s, the book has faced the challenge of being incorporated into classrooms and libraries because of its language and subject matter. In 2019, the American Library Association ranked it 15th on its 100 most banned and questioned books of the past decade.

But some educators believe a more effective way to deal with the novel is to delve into its controversies and complexities, explore systemic racism and the lack of agency and voice for black characters, and question why racially and class-privileged characters would been concentrated on.

According to Jeffrey Glover, a professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh who specializes in African-American literature and 20th-century American prose, Robin Worth teaching as a way to bring these exact critiques and questions into the classroom.

“I do think that when you’re talking about a novel that deals with race, approaching the novel through its weaknesses is maybe one of the most American things you can do,” Glover said. “Because I mean, in many ways, the complexity of the racial landscape in America is there because we haven’t been successful in dealing with them.”

Glover suggests pairing to kill a robin Texts with black authors, such as Ralph Ellison’s invisible Man with Ann Petrie street, or more recent books, including the hatred you give by Angie Thomas or monster Author: Walter Dean Myers.

“You can talk about it in terms of the contemporary post-George Floyd era we’re in right now,” he said.

He added, however, that it’s not always easy for teachers in K-12 school districts to do so in the current political climate, where discussions about racism are often politicized and demonized in the United States.

Facing History and Our Own, an organization that develops resources to help teachers discuss racism, bigotry, and religious intolerance in history and literature classes, provides a teacher’s guide to kill a robin high school and middle school, and offer instructional programs for educators.

Dimitry Anselme, the group’s executive program director for professional learning and support, said the group recognized the controversy surrounding Lee’s book but felt that teachers who chose it as a course needed to provide the appropriate context to help students navigate it.

“If they decide to teach it, [they need to] Think deeply, receive professional training and use appropriate teaching strategies to help children navigate the complexities of this book,” he said.

Anselm says the book is a product of an era — America in the 1950s and 1960s — when the mainstream discussion of race relations in America focused on individual responsibility rather than acknowledging and confronting institutional racism.

“In the American civil rights movement, Atticus emerged as an inspiring figure for many Americans at the time. He provided them with a roadmap for how to deal with racism on a personal level,” Anselm said.

Anselme said the book’s theme — about personal responsibility against racism — is still relevant, which is why people are still talking about the book 60 years after it was published, even though readers are now raising questions about the book. The problem may be different.

“We’re hearing more and more that teachers are struggling with their identities,” Anselm said, especially since most public school students in the United States are people of color and most American teachers are white , like Harper Lee and her narrator. “How do I teach this book that honors students of color in my classroom? Am I teaching this book because I romanticize it? How do I teach it to appeal to kids?”

Updated the Mukilteo School District’s decision on the January 24 proposal.

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