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Reader's View: Use 'Finn,' 'Mockingbird' as teaching tools

I am wondering if the Duluth school district will ever cease to amaze me. Now administrators have banned from classroom instruction "To Kill A Mockingbird" and Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" because the books use the n-word.

Don't get me wrong. I am not a proponent of using hurtful language like the n-word, but I am very much against banning books. Doing so suppresses the lessons we all can learn from books such as these, such as getting along with others, living with your conscience, the importance of keeping your word, striving to be better than average, and, maybe the most important lesson of all, that people are people regardless of race or social class.

Do you really think we can just erase history or great literature like it never existed? What good would that be anyway? How can one learn and grow from history if none exists?

Both of these books were written by magnificent artists. Banning such great works of literature forever leads our children down the road to ignorance and irresponsibility.

Why not use these books instead to to help kids learn why using the n-word is unacceptable and cruel? After all, isn't it the job of schools everywhere to teach that knowledge is power? Without the knowledge of our mistakes, our children are stripped of their power to overcome those mistakes.

I encourage parents to buy these books and to use them as teaching tools.

Congratulations, Duluth school district for once more being in the headlines — like so many times before for all the wrong reasons.

Kathryn Pomroy