I did find this article about the dilemma for educators interesting in the "seriously?" vein.
But other ardent fans of “Mockingbird” said they are heartbroken that they might no longer be able to present Atticus to their students as a pure icon of justice.That includes Allison Jackson, an English teacher in Baltimore County in Maryland who named her Welsh corgi after him. She hopes her ninth-graders would read “Mockingbird” before hearing much about the new book. “I want my students to experience Atticus Finch, civil rights hero, the same way that people have for the past 55 years,” she said.
Sara Confino, who teaches ninth-grade English in Maryland’s Montgomery County, said she is struggling with how to address the troubling aspects of the new book in a school where most students are black or Hispanic.
Seriously...pure icon of justice and a civil rights leader? Hard sell to Black or Hispanic youth that there is a difference between legal justice and social justice--never mind in the 1920s or 30s, but today. A hard sell?“How do I tell my students that yes, Atticus Finch is a wonderful character, he will represent you in court…but he doesn’t think 88% of you should be in school here?” she asked. “That’s a really hard sell.”
I am practically speechless.
Glimmers of hope come for me in these quotes:
“Mockingbird” is one of the most commonly assigned works in U.S. schools, typically in eighth or ninth grade. While the novel depicts its narrator, Scout, as a girl who looks up to her lawyer father as he defends a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman, “Go Set a Watchman” shows Scout as an adult disillusioned with his segregationist views.
“One of the reasons school is boring is because we avoid conflicts,” said Ms. Jago, associate director of the California Reading and Literature Project at University of California, Los Angeles. “These are not easy conversations to have with students, but avoiding the conversation isn’t going to get us closer to the nation that we want to be.”
But, okay, here is probably the real reason for the article about the new book:
Its U.S. publisher, HarperCollins, is owned by News Corp, as is The Wall Street Journal.Certainly makes me want to reread the one and then read the other!