A Dubuque Community Schools committee has suggested that three books be removed from the district's curriculum after some students raised concerns about some of the content in the books, according to the Dubuque Telegraph Herald.

The Herald reports that the three books would be removed from the school district's list of required reading for high school students due to their significant use of racial slurs. The books would still be available in the school library. The books that are being suggested to be removed are,

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Of Mice and Men
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Mark Burns is the school district's executive director of secondary education. He told the Herald that the three books will likely not be part of the school curriculum next school year, but that the committee is still speaking with faculty about the changes. Burns noted that the committee began reviewing the use of the books several months ago after concerns were raised by several students. He stated that "students were uncomfortable that they were reading those racial slurs or hearing slurs read to them".

Michelle Hunt, an English teacher at Dubuque Hempstead High School, told the Herald that the books being removed can provide powerful lessons to students. She stated,

"When I teach a novel that deals with the ugliness of humanity, as most powerful novels do, we explore the merits of the text, literary, historical, and social. It’s difficult to escape controversy in great literature, but something wonderful can happen when we explore those texts together".

According to the Herald, the school district will work with teachers over the summer to choose new reading materials to replace the three books.

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