Mockingbird Appeals Committee’s Challenge: Loyalty to “Protocol” vs. Free Expression
FLAGLERLIVE | November 11, 2010
On Monday, the Flagler County School Board’s appeals committee will meet at Matanzas High School for the first—and only—time to decide the fate of To Kill a Mockingbird. Flagler Palm Coast High School Principal Jacob Oliva and Superintendent Janet Valentine cancelled the student stage production last month.
The decision to cancel was based on still-unspecified fears that actors’ use of the word nigger on the stage of the Flagler Auditorium might cause trouble for the students and put their safety at stake. How, or why, and danger from whom: Oliva and Valentine never specified. But Oliva had made the original decision to cancel the play, saying he would not have approved it anyway had the drama teacher run the script by him first, and Valentine stood by the decision. With a few exceptions, the response from the public, faculty and students has been overwhelmingly—and at times bitterly—critical of the decision.