Accomack County schools vote to keep classic novels

Posted at 9:00 PM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-07 11:11:09-05
Cover of the book 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's Comrade)' by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), 1884. The illustration, by E. M. Kimble, shows a young boy who stands in front of a picket fence while wearing a straw hat. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

ACCOMACK Co., Va. – Classic novels “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” are no longer temporarily bannedfrom Accomack County schools.

Use of  the two classics was suspended after a parent raised concerns about their use of the N-word.

“There’s so much racial slurs and defensive wording in there that you can’t get past that,” the mother said during last month’s school board meeting. “Right now, we are a nation divided as it is.”

Accomack County Schools confirmed in a release that the novels will immediately return to library shelves in the schools.

The Accomack County School Board voted unanimously to permanently reinstate the books during their meeting on Tuesday.

The Accomack County School Board also said that they plan to create a new committee which will review the board’s policy.

394238 04: An audio book stands on display as part of Chicago program involving the 40th anniversary edition of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "To Kill A Mockingbird" September 10, 2001 at a Borders Books and Music store in Chicago. Borders is working with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Public Library in the new citywide reading initiative: "One Book, One Chicago," encouraging all Chicagoans to read and discuss the book during the months of September and October. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

“These novels are treasures of American literature and inspirational, timeless stories of conscience and bravery,” said Dr. Ronnie E. Holden, chairman of the Accomack County School Board. “We agree that some of the language used is offensive and hurtful. Fortunately, Accomack County’s excellent teachers and media center specialists have a wonderful talent for conveying the bigger meanings and messages of literature, including these two seminal works.”

Accomack County Schools says the parent who originally made the formal complaint about the books, did not ask that the books be banned, just that a larger selection of diverse reading materials be included in the curricula.

“The superintendent simply followed the existing policy when the materials were removed,” said Holden.