School district temporarily pulls classics after complaint

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ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) — A Virginia school district has temporarily pulled two classic novels from its classrooms after a parent filed a formal complaint over language contained in the books.

A parent of an Accomack County Public Schools student filed the complaint over “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” because of their use of racial slurs, local media outlets reported.

The district has temporarily suspended the use of the books while officials examine the issue. A committee that includes a principal, librarian and others will review the books and make a recommendation to the superintendent.

“We have a committee looking at all of this,” Accomack Superintendent Chris Holland told the Daily Times of Salisbury. “There’s been no recommendation right now,” he said.

The newspaper reports that racial slurs appear 219 times in Mark Twain’s novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” The newspaper says there are 48 racial slurs in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

WAVY-TV reports that a parent voiced concerns over the books during a school board meeting earlier this month. Holland tells the TV station that there is no timeline on when a recommendation about the books will be made.

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