Eighth grade English teachers in Biloxi, Mississippi, will have to find a new book to teach this semester after the Biloxi School District abruptly pulled To Kill a Mockingbird from its curriculum last week. On Wednesday or Thursday, district administrators yanked the classic 1960 novel by Harper Lee after receiving complaints about the book's wording, in particular its use of the "n" word, the Sun Herald reports. “There were complaints about it," Kenny Holloway, vice president of the Biloxi School Board, said. "There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable, and we can teach the same lesson with other books." A member of the school board said that the decision to drop the book from the curriculum came from the district's administrators and not the board.
To Kill a Mockingbird, which is part of the state's Common Core standards, was being used to teach the themes of the district's second-term languages arts classes, the golden rule and taking a stand. Superintendent Arthur McMillan released a statement Thursday saying, "There are many resources and materials that are available to teach state academic standards to our students. These resources may change periodically." To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most banned books in America, PBS reports, having been challenged or banned more than 20 times since its publication. Just last December, the Accomack County School District in Virginia pulled the book from its curriculum and considered banning it outright following a complaint by a parent, the Los Angeles Times reports. (Read more To Kill A Mockingbird stories.)