NCAC questioning district's removal of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

NCAC questioning district's removal of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The National Coalition Against Censorship is questioning the decision by the Biloxi School District's sudden decision to remove "To Kill A Mockingbird" from eighth-grade reading assignments.

"We always respond, particularly in cases like this where there is a clear policy," NCAC representative Abena Hutchful said Monday afternoon.

Hutchful has been told Biloxi schools have district-wide policies that require Biloxi administrators to have a review committee listen to parent complaints, and ultimately determine what resources teachers use to educate their students.

In this case, it appears decisions were made without that review committee hearing any arguments.

"You just can't make a sweeping statement to have books removed until you have due process," Hutchful said from her New York office.

NCAC sent a letter to Superintendent Arthur McMillan on Tuesday, urging the school district to keep the book in classrooms until the issue can be discussed by a review committee.

The school board meets Tuesday night at 5 p.m., and the decision to remove “To Kill A Mockingbird” from eighth-grade lesson plans is expected to come up.

From Hutchful's perspective, the decision to change what books children read without proper guidance is a form of censorship.

"We're an anti-censorship organization," she said. "The policy clearly states you need a review committee. Curriculum challenges still have to go through processes."

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved.