To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

‘Mockingbird’ could be cut from Mukilteo school curriculum

On Monday, the board considers removing the novel from ninth-grade required reading due to racism complaint.

MUKILTEO — The Mukilteo School Board on Monday will consider removing the 1960 literary classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” from the required reading list for high school freshmen.

The public can comment in person or by Zoom at the 6 p.m. meeting at the district office, 9401 Sharon Dr. in Everett. It is the last item on the agenda.

“This is the first time in at least 20 years that a request has been made to remove a novel from the curriculum,” district superintendent Alison Brynelson said in a statement. “We recognize the strong feelings and varying perspectives around this topic.”

It stems from a citizen request made to the Kamiak High School principal that was evaluated by the district’s Instructional Materials Committee.

The request’s reasons included: “Marginalizes and gives little voice or agency to characters of color. Celebrates white saviorhood and tells story through white perspective only. Uses the “n” word almost 50 times and never addresses it as derogatory. Does not support goals of equity and inclusion.”

The Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Harper Lee tells the story of a white lawyer defending a Black man wrongly accused of rape in Alabama in the 1930s and uses dialogue of the time. The theme is prejudice and loss of innocence.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” has been controversial for 60 years but remains required reading in many schools nationwide, though several districts have banned it, along with “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “Of Mice and Men” and “The Catcher in the Rye.”

The Mukilteo instruction committee is recommending the novel be cut from the required curriculum but that it should remain on the approved novel list that teachers can use.

The committee is comprised of about 20 teachers, librarians, administrators, parents and community members who heard arguments on both sides before making a decision. Reasons for keeping the book included: “Removing novels is censorship and sets a dangerous precedent. Examine how it is taught and provide professional development on culturally sensitive texts.”

In December, the majority voted the book should be removed from the ninth grade English Language Arts curriculum but not to ban it from classroom use.

Monday’s meeting is to present the findings to the board, which is tentatively scheduled to make a decision on Jan. 24.

“This request for removal of a novel and the feedback we’ve received have given us the opportunity to reflect on our curriculum procedures which will aid us in future curriculum adoptions,” Brynelson said. “Through this process, we heard a desire from teachers to engage in professional learning on how to teach culturally sensitive novels to their students.”

Those wanting to comment via Zoom have until two hours before the meeting begins to register. More at www.mukilteoschools.org.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Everett
Man shot at Everett apartment

The man in his 30s was shot Sunday night. No arrests had been made.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist identified in fatal crash near Lake Stevens

Anthony Palko, 33, died Monday night after colliding with a passenger car. The juveniles in the car were taken to the hospital.

Marysville
Police: Marysville man shot sword-wielding roommate in self-defense

The roommates were arguing over eBay sales, according to police. Then one of them allegedly brandished a two-foot sword.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Everett boy, 12, identified as Davies Beach drowning victim

Malachi Bell was one of three swimmers in distress Sunday in Lake Stevens. He did not survive.

Everett
Port of Everett hosting annual open house after pandemic hiatus

Also, Rustic Cork Wine Bar plans to open a second shop at Fisherman’s Harbor — the latest addition to the port’s “wine walk.”

The “Village of Hope,” a tiny home community including 17 shelters, is set to open on Mission Hill Road in Tulalip in September. (Tulalip Tribes)
Tulalip Tribes to open tiny home village with 17 shelters

It’s called the Village of Hope. Monthly culture nights will feature classes in Lushootseed and “Tulalip cooking.”

Everett Code Enforcement issued a violation citation to the owner of the Grand Apartments building at 2331 Rockefeller Ave., after allegedly finding exposed electrical wiring and evidence of unpermitted electrical and plumbing work. (City of Everett)
Grand Apartments, which saw outcry from tenants, faces code violations

The Everett complex has had its share of issues. Now the city is threatening fines if something isn’t done.

"Shoes are like jeans," says Dominic Ahn, 53, who took over ownership from his parents, who started the store 40 years ago. Photographed in Edmonds, Washington on June 30, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
EEEEEE! Edmonds shoe shop sells wide shoes only

The store has over 600 styles of work and play shoes for men and women with feet from D to 8E widths.

Tomato is charred by Joel Childs Thursday afternoon at The Chef Behind The Curtain in Snohomish, Washington on June 30, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
This tiny Snohomish restaurant is a best-kept secret among locals

You don’t have to travel to Seattle — or drain your savings — for a fine dining experience.

Most Read