Edinburgh school cancels To Kill a Mockingbird as book ‘promotes white savior story’
Scottish high school will no longer teach classic novel Kill a mockingbird after teachers claimed the book promotes a “white savior” narrative.
Another reason the English department at James Gillespie High School in Edinburgh wants to remove American author Harper Lee’s book from its reading list is that the N word is used over 40 times.
The book, published in 1960, is widely studied in schools to explore the theme of racial injustice.
Of mice and Men by John Steinbeck, published in 1937, will also no longer be taught in school due to its “dated” portrayal of blacks.
Allan Crosbie, head of the secondary school English program, said texts should be removed for study in third grade, or S3, which roughly equates to 10th grade in England and Wales and in grade 11 in Northern Ireland.
Instead, the school should focus on modern works such as Angie Thomas’ award-winning book The hate you give, which was written in response to Oscar Grant, 22, shot dead by police in 2009 in Oakland, California.
The move is part of efforts to “decolonize” the program and replace “problematic” texts with ones that better represent people of color and present them as the main characters.
Speaking at the EIS union’s annual general meeting in June, Mr Crosbie reportedly said: “Probably like all English-speaking departments in the country, we still have Of mice and Men and Kill a mockingbird [on] the shelves.
“They are now less taught because these novels are dated and problematic in terms of decolonization of programs.
“Their main characters are not people of color. The depiction of people of color is dated, as well as the use of the N word and the use of the white savior motif in Mockingbird – this has led us as a department to decide that these aren’t really texts we want. teach in the third year. more.”
Stephen Kelly, director of Liberton High, in Edinburgh, said there was a need to diversify the program and develop an “anti-racist culture that recognizes notions of stereotypes, notions of white-centered attitudes, notions of whites. being more important, notions of representation.
He opposed the ban on teaching books in schools and suggested using books such as Kill a mockingbird and Of mice and Men as examples to teach “what white saviorism really is.”