Sherlock Holmes Pulled From Schools' Reading List

After parent complains 'A Study in Scarlett' is derogatory toward Mormons
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 12, 2011 9:49 AM CDT
Sherlock Holmes Pulled From Schools' Reading List
An original copy of A Study in Scarlet, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which is the first story to feature the character of Sherlock Holmes.   (AP Photo/Dawn Villella)

Sherlock Holmes' first adventure has been removed from sixth-grade reading lists in a central Virginia county. The Albemarle County School Board voted last night to remove the book, after a committee commissioned to study the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel said in a report that it's not age-appropriate for sixth-graders. Brette Stevenson, a parent of a Henley Middle School student, had complained that A Study in Scarlet is derogatory toward Mormons, calling it an "inaccurate introduction to an American religion," the Daily Progress reports.

The book includes a flashback to 1847 Utah that recounts the actions of a Mormon community when a non-Mormon man wants to marry the daughter of one of its members. Stevenson suggested another Sherlock Holmes classic, The Hound of the Baskervilles, to introduce sixth-graders to mystery fiction. But 20 former students of the elementary school also showed up to speak out for their appreciation of A Study in Scarlet, “I was capable of reading it in sixth grade. I think it was a good challenge," a ninth-grader said. "I’m upset that they’re removing it.” (More Sherlock Holmes stories.)

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