Classic novels pulled from Virginia county’s public schools

ACCOMAC, Va. (WAVY) — Two classic American novels have been temporarily pulled from bookshelves in Accomack County Public Schools.

Superintendent Warren Holland confirmed that a parent filed a complaint about “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

Earlier this month, a parent voiced concerns to the school board about racial slurs in both of the novels.

“Right now, we are a nation divided as it is,” the mother is heard saying in an audio recording of the meeting on Nov. 15. She tells the board that her biracial son, a high school student, struggled getting through a page that was riddled with a racial slur.

“So what are we teaching our children? We’re validating that these words are acceptable, and they are not acceptable by any means,” the parent said.

Victoria Coombs, a mother of two, said she agrees that books with offensive racial slurs should not be read in schools.

“It’s not right to put that in a book, let alone read that to a child,” she said.

But other Accomack County residents said that banning a classic for offensive language can be a slippery slope.

“I don’t want to see it happen because if you start with one racial word in a book and have to go on and on and on and pretty soon you’ll be burning books left and right,” R. Kellam said.

“Everybody’s read it… it didn’t change a difference in my views at all,” Catherine Glaser said. “I’d like my son to read those books… my daughter’s mixed, and I don’t have a problem with it, I love those books.”

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