A British Columbia elementary school teacher was suspended this week after showing her students the 1962 American drama To Kill A Mockingbird.
The teacher, Andrew Michael Dennis, showed his Grade 6/7 students the film in September 2018, a resolution agreement by the BC Commissioner for Teacher Regulation found.
The resolution states that the film dealt with themes too mature for students that age, such as sexual assault and racism, as well as racial slurs.
"In the B.C. curriculum, the book 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is listed as a secondary school-level resource for Grades 10 and higher," the commissioner wrote in the disciplinary form.
Dennis was given a one-day suspension of his teaching certificate.
The report said that the incident was one of several that prompted action from the board.
Dennis also showed his students JRR Tolkien film The Hobbit, and read them "The Lottery," which is typically given as materials for grades 11 or 12.
Dennis then showed his students film adaptation of The Lottery, then had his students play a Lottery-themed dodgeball game, CTV News reports.
The resolution found that Dennis "failed to establish a positive learning environment by using material that was not age-appropriate," and did not "model appropriate behaviour expected of an educator."
The film To Kill a Mockingbird, based on the novel by Harper Lee, recounts the trial of a black man in the American south who was falsely accused of sexual misconduct with a white woman. The story is told through the eyes of the defense attorney's young daughter, Scout. It is highly regarded as a testament to the importance of fairness, due process, and the horror of racism.