- The Washington Times - Monday, December 14, 2015

A suburban Philadelphia school is removing “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” from its 11th grade curriculum because of the book’s prevalent use of the N-word.

After a forum for students and faculty, the administration of Friends’ Central School decided to strike the 1885 Mark Twain classic from its American literature class for juniors, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

“We have all come to the conclusion that the community costs of reading this book in 11th grade outweigh the literary benefits,” Principal Art Hall wrote in a letter to parents last week.

The book’s use of the N-word was challenging for some students, who felt the school was not being inclusive, Mr. Hall said.

“I’m very proud of the process that our community engaged in to make the decision,” he wrote.



The book about manners, race and rebellion in pre-Civil War times has inspired its share of controversy since its release, The Associated Press reported.

Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, which tracks challenges to books, said removing a text from curriculum because of concerns about its content is generally considered a challenge.

“We would still see this as a kind of censorship because there is something to be learned from this work,” she told the Inquirer.

Mr. Hall disagreed. “I do not believe that we’re censoring. I really do believe that this is an opportunity for the school to step forward and listen to the students,” he said.

Mr. Hall said the book will remain in the school library, the Inquirer reported.

According to the school’s website, Friends’ Central is guided by Quaker philosophy.

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