ACLU Calls On Morgan High School Officials To Reconsider Censorship Of Iconic Play

‘Mockingbird’ Teaches Tolerance and Critical Thinking MCCONNELSVILLE, OH – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio urged Morgan High School Superintendent Lori Snyder-Lowe to reconsider the cancellation of a production of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The production was canceled because it contained a racial epithet. The Zane Trace Players, a local theatre troupe, was scheduled to perform the play for students at Morgan High School this week. Snyder-Lowe canceled the performance after the publisher of the play denied a request to alter the script to remove the epithet. “’To Kill a Mockingbird’ is an acclaimed piece of American literature,” said ACLU of Ohio Legal Director James L. Hardiman. “For decades, it has created opportunities for youth and adults to discuss the history of racism and injustice in our country. Censoring this iconic work of art deprives students the ability to think critically about these issues, form their own opinions, and understand the evolution of human rights.” “While some words may hold a great deal of pain for many people, denying students the right to understand and discuss the meaning and history of those words is counterproductive to the very mission of schools,” added Hardiman. “Educators must create a safe learning environment where students feel comfortable discussing complex issues that may challenge their preconceived notions on a topic, such as race and race relations.” In the days leading up to the scheduled performance, Ms. Snyder-Lowe claims she received complaints from parents regarding the use of racial epithets in the play. Members of the Zane Trace Players contacted Dramatic Publishing to request permission to alter the words, but were denied. In news reports, the company stated that it typically denies request to remove racial epithets from the work, as they are central to its meaning. The play is based on Harper Lee’s classic 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which chronicles the rape trial of a black man in the South. The story is told through the eyes of a young white girl named Scout whose father represents the accused man at trial. “Schools should be a safe place to discuss these issues with the skilled guidance of educators and community leaders. By simply banning the topic, school officials deny young people the opportunity to understand the history of intolerance and injustice in our country and how it may be relevant to their lives today,” Hardiman concluded.

Twitter Follow

Follow us on

Contact Us

ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT:  This communication or portions thereof may be considered "advertising" as defined by Section 6157(c) of the California Business and Professions Code or within the jurisdiction in which you are viewing this.  Nothing in the discussion above is intended to be a representation or guarantee about the outcome of any legal proceeding in which you may be involved.  By providing the information above in this format, Michel & Associates is not soliciting you to hire it to handle a specific legal matter you may currently have or be anticipating commencing in the future.  Notwithstanding the discussion above, you should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content on this site without seeking appropriate legal advice regarding your particular circumstances from an attorney licensed to practice law.  This communication is informational only and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Michel & Associates.  Michel & Associates's attorneys are licensed to practice in California, Texas, and the District of Columbia.