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Virginia School District Pulls 'To Kill A Mockingbird,' 'The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn' From Classrooms Over N-Word In Books

ACCOMAC, Va. (CBS/AP) — A Virginia school district has temporarily pulled two classic novels from its classrooms after a parent filed a formal complaint over language contained in the books.

A parent of an Accomack County Public Schools student filed the complaint over "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" because of their use of the N-word, CBS affiliate WTVR-TV reports.

"There's so much racial slurs and defensive wording in there that you can't get past that," the mother said during November's school board meeting, according to WTVR. "Right now, we are a nation divided as it is."

The district has temporarily suspended the use of the books while officials examine the issue. A committee that includes a principal, librarian and others will review the books and make a recommendation to the superintendent.

"We have a committee looking at all of this," Accomack Superintendent Chris Holland told the Daily Times of Salisbury. "There's been no recommendation right now," he said.

The newspaper reports that racial slurs appear 219 times in Mark Twain's novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." The newspaper says there are 48 racial slurs in Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Parents were split about the books being pulled from the classrooms.

"It's in a book and they'll feel that they are able to say that to anybody, and so I don't feel that that should be done," Teresa Wilkins told WTVR.

However, Donna Natoli told the station, "I think we're sending a message to our children that if you don't talk about something, it doesn't exist."

Holland said there is no timeline on when a recommendation about the books will be made.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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