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'Huck Finn' debate attracts '60 Minutes' to WHS

The "60 Minutes" television news magazine spent time at Woodbury High School this week interviewing staff and students about the novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

The informal visit from a "60 Minutes" staffer came amid a literary debate about a publisher's plan to remove offensive language in a new edition of the Mark Twain classic.

The Alabama publisher's recent decision - and an ensuing national discussion - prompted Woodbury High School English teacher Karen Morrill to write an opinion piece on the topic. Morrill's commentary, published on Minnesota Public Radio, explored the challenges of teaching the classic novel with the racially charged N-word to high school students.

Morrill's piece apparently caught the attention of "60 Minutes," prompting the Woodbury visit, said Barb Brown, District 833 communications director. The staffer asked to sit in on English classes Wednesday and Thursday and talk with teachers and students, but did not conduct formal interviews or use cameras and other video recording equipment.

Brown said it was not immediately clear whether staff from the TV program want to return to Woodbury for more interviews or whether "60 Minutes" planned to include Woodbury in a story.

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Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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