A committee at Mark Twain Intermediate School in Fairfax County said yesterday that it will not appeal an area superintendent's decision that "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" be included in the school curriculum.
John H. Wallace, a Twain administrative aide who had spearheaded the school's Human Rights Committee drive to ban the classic novel by the school's namesake as racist, said the committee had decided against the appeal.
Wallace said that after a careful reading of county Area 1 superintendent Doris Torrice's decision, the committee of faculty and administrators, "really didn't think her decision is that bad. If teachers will be extremely careful about the use of the book, it will be all right."
Following the recommendation of the Human Rights Committee last week, Twain principal John Martin had asked Torrice to ban the novel from mandatory classroom assignments in the school, which houses grades seven and eight. The committee had objected to "the flagrant use of the word 'nigger' and the demeaning way in which black people are portrayed in the book."
On Monday, however, Torrice ruled that the book could be taught in "a proper instructional setting." After the ruling, Wallace had said the committee would appeal.
"I personally feel as an individual and the leader of this movement with the Human Rights Committee, that I have a commitment to Fairfax County as an administrator," Wallace said yesterday. "I don't think I can actively go around and speak against this policy even though I wholly disagree with it.
"I work for these folks over here. Isn't that reason enough?"