Saturday, November 04, 2006

Parent get Huck Finn ban from school.

Edumacation: Another year and another complaint about this darn good book by an hyper-sensitive parent.

In a move that's sparking debate that's dogged Mark Twain's classic since its 1885 publication, Taylor School District officials halted instruction of the book some consider the Great American Novel after at least one African-American parent complained about the racial epithet that's repeated more than 200 times on its pages. The book has been taught in the district for years without incident. The controversy began when an English teacher decided to have a class read the book aloud and act it out. The class had an African-American student who would regularly hear classmates repeat the slurs. Now, the book is still on the shelves at Kennedy and Truman high schools, but no longer on the syllabus. "We want to be sensitive to how the children feel," said Lynette Sutton, assistant superintendent for secondary instruction. Some parents and students in Taylor, however, are upset about the decision. The 10,000-student district is 74.5 percent white, 20 percent African-American and 4 percent Hispanic, according to the district. Parent Cyndee Push said school officials in her daughter's 11th-grade class told students not to discuss the decision. "She said, 'Mom, it's a good book; there are other books on the shelves that have worse words in it'," Push said. "It didn't sound like the teachers were happy about it, the kids weren't happy about it, nobody was happy about it. "We all read this book as a kid -- I want to see this book on the shelves. It's about what it was like then. I don't think it should be removed, it should just be discussed." Jim Netter, the former chairman of the Legal Redress Committee for the Western Wayne County chapter of the NAACP, said he doesn't think the book should be banned, either, as long as rappers toss racial slurs around in their lyrics. "We say nothing when it's in rap songs, but we want to burn the books of history," Netter said. To ban the book "would be to deny all points of history such as the (history) of Rosa Parks and her humiliation the Brown v. Board of Education decision as well as Plessy v. Ferguson," he said."The real story was to set Jim free (The book) is necessary in order to show the unfortunate truth of American history and to bring it to modern history."

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