Suburban Philadelphia high school removes ‘Huckleberry Finn’

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Cover of the book 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's Comrade)' by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), 1884. The illustration, by E. M. Kimble, shows a young boy who stands in front of a picket fence while wearing a straw hat. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA — A suburban Philadelphia school is removing “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” from its 11th grade curriculum, saying the language and portrayal of blacks makes students uncomfortable.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Friends’ Central School decided the “community costs” of reading Mark Twain’s 1885 classic outweigh the literary benefits.

Art Hall, principal of the school in Wynnewood, says the book’s use of racial slurs was “challenging for some students, who felt the school was not being inclusive.”

The school is guided by a Quaker philosophy.

The book about manners, race and rebellion in pre-Civil War has inspired controversy since its release 130 years ago. In 2011, an Alabama publisher replaced the offending word with “slave.”

A Twain biographer has called book’s slur the “ultimate teachable moment in American literature.”