Committee to discuss keeping 'To Kill a Mockingbird' in classroom

MONONA, Wis. (WISC) -- The Monona Grove School District is looking into whether it should continue teaching "To Kill a Mockingbird" after a parent complained that the racially charged language in the novel is inappropriate.

Tujama Kameeta, of Cottage Grove, has a 14-year-old son at Monona Grove High School. He wants the book removed from the school's required reading list. A five-person committee made up of school board members, educators and civilians is tasked with determining if the book should stay in the classroom. They met Tuesday night.

“You will see quite a few pages that highlight the nearly 50 time that the N-word appears in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and that is the central tenet of the complaint,” Lisa Heipp, director of instruction at Monona Grove, said of the complaint.

The committee was given the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, along with articles both for and against teaching it in classrooms, and will make its decision based off the following.

“The appropriateness of the material for the age and maturity level of the students with whom it's being used, the accuracy of the material, the objectivity of the material and the use being made of the material,” Heipp said.

The committee will meet again in two weeks and will likely give a recommendation.

“I could decide to accept the recommendation as is or would be able to modify it,” Superintendent Dan Olson said.

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