Councillor calls on Education Minister to review To Kill a Mockingbird's curriculum place

Councillor calls on Education Minister to review To Kill a Mockingbird's curriculum place
Gregory Peck as shown as attorney Atticus Finch in a scene from the 1962 movie . Picture: AP Photo.

There are calls to remove To Kill a Mocking Bird and Of Mice and Men from the school curriculum.

A Meath County Councillor thinks they should be banned due to their use of offensive racial language.

To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men are prescribed texts for Junior cycle students.

Both have appeared several times on the American Library Association's list of most challenged books due to their offensive language, depiction of racism, and unsuitability for young people.

Meath Cllr. Alan Lawes wants them taken off the school curriculum.

He says families have become the target of racist abuse since their children's classes have read the books. 

Mr Lawes says: "You have certain racial slurs that are repeated in these books and their classmates all of a sudden started to use these racial slurs to call them names."

But Author Eamon Delaney does not think a ban is the way to go: "To censor or clean up the past, which comes from a good instinct, is a false way for looking at our past."

Direct Provision activist Ellie Kisyombe feels it's not about erasing history.

Ms Kisyombe says: "I am conflicted about how we should raise these racial issues because I am a black woman, every day I face racism.

"But I want to be surrounded by people in a platform whereby you can understand the issues when I am complaning about receiving it." 

Although conflicted Ellie feels a review of their place in the curriculum is needed and should be carried out. 

More in this section

Lunchtime News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up