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School sides with fragile students, removes ‘Huck Finn’ from curriculum

Mark Twain’s fictional account of runaway Huckleberry Finn has come under fire before for its use of the N-word; however, one Philadelphia high school recently took an especially vocal stance in allegedly censoring the English-class staple.

After hearing some complaints from an unspecified number of students, administrators at Philadelphia’s Friends’ Central School opted to remove Huckleberry Finn from the 11th-grade curriculum. In a statement, the school asserted that “the community costs of reading this book … outweigh the literary benefits.”

Parents learned of the decision in a letter from school officials, which confirmed that they had received complaints that some students found the book’s text “challenging.”

Apparently agreeing that an education should not be challenging, administrators quickly relegated the troublesome tome to a library shelf. Replacing it on school curricula will be Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.

Though some, including the ALA’s Deborah Caldwell-Stone, consider such a move to be censorship, Friends’ Central School Principal Art Hall disagreed.

“I do not believe that we’re censoring,” he said. “I really do believe that this is an opportunity for the school to step forward and listen to the students.”

Caldwell-Stone, however, noted that since there is much to be learned from a novel like Finn, removing it as assigned reading is a disservice to students. She seems to be in good company with her book review, as Ernest Hemingway once identified it as the source of “all modern American literature.”

Of course, as The Guardian’s Alison Flood noted, this is hardly the first time the novel — dubbed by the American Library Association as the “most-challenged of all time” — has been declared unfit for reader consumption.

While early criticism revolved around the book’s base content, recent generations have bemoaned the conversational use of the N-word.

Some subsequent editions have attempted to steer clear of this controversy by replacing the offending word — in all 200-plus uses –with ‘slave.’

Click here to get the best-selling ebook The Informed Conservative’s Guide to the Lunatic Left.

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2 Comments on School sides with fragile students, removes ‘Huck Finn’ from curriculum

  1. These people are so thin skinned I’m surprised they can even live! I’m sick to death of liberals rewriting history. It’s just a WORD people. Deal with it!

    There are MANY words that I see in news articles, books and media that totally offend me but no one seems to care about that. The vulgarity, profanity, sexual connotation and disrespect of Christians is far more offensive! Or should be. No wonder our nation is in ruins. People get their backs up over that one word while the rest of the world is burning down!

    Like

  2. Barbara Jones // December 20, 2015 at 7:28 pm // Reply

    This is a wonderful book of many generations! I vote to replace the N word with the word “slave”. This story is too good to just hide away & forget about because some are sensitive.

    Like

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