School Bans ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Due To ‘White Saviour’ Narrative

A secondary school has banned the classic novel 'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee due to its 'white saviour' narrative.
Credit: Pexels & Universal Studios

A secondary school has banned the classic novel ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ due to its ‘white saviour’ narrative.

Allan Crosbie, who is the Head of English at James Gillespie High School in Scotland, says the book, written by Harper Lee, will be removed from classrooms, as the curriculum gets a modern shake-up.

He told The Telegraph: “Probably like every English department in the country, we still have ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ [on] the shelves.

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A secondary school in Scotland has banned the novel ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ from its curriculum. Credit: Pexel

“They are now taught less frequently because those novels are dated and problematical in terms of decolonising the curriculum. Their lead characters are not people of colour.

“The representation of people of colour is dated, and the use of the N-word and the use of the white saviour motif in ‘Mockingbird’ – these have led us as a department to decide that these really are not texts we want to be teaching third year anymore.”

Instead of the classics, the school is now looking at choosing novels that reflect the diversity of its students, so they’ll be selecting books from non-white authors that don’t always focus on a Westernised version of the world.

So far, the English department has chosen Angie Thomas’ ‘The Hate U Give’ as a part of its curriculum, which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and a real police shooting.

The school’s move has been criticised by many, including Oliver Mundell of the Scottish Conservatives.

He said that removing the books would be a ‘mistake’ as the novels provided ‘meaningful debate,’ The Scottish Sun reports.

Mundell added: “Rather than denying children access to specific works of literature, perhaps we should introduce them with a subtext highlighting how times have changed and what we can learn from them.

“Schools have the responsibility to educate, not dictate.”

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.