So we've always used book banning as a sort of reverse barometer of what the kids were reading and in most instances we've been pleased that students would rather read Tropic of Cancer than A Rose for Emily if only because there aren't any study guides for Henry Miller like there are for Faulkner. Good literature should be a little risky and dangerous. For everybody. Which is why this concerns us a little.
Culpeper County public school officials have decided to stop assigning a version of Anne Frank's diary, one of the most enduring symbols of the atrocities of the Nazi regime.Seriously? Anne Frank? The little 13 year old girl who wrote up in her hidden room until the Germans found her? The little girl who wrote, "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart " a couple of years before she died of Typhoid in a Concentration Camp. This is the author you're afraid will corrupt the youth of Culpeper County?
Come on people. This here is no Naked Lunch. What's your beef?
A parent complained that the book includes sexually explicit material and homosexual themes.Uh...yeah. You must be talking about when she wrote, "If I read a book that impresses me, I have to take myself firmly by the hand, before I mix with other people; otherwise they would think my mind rather queer."
Heh heh. She said "queer."
"The Diary of a Young Girl: the Definitive Edition," which was published on the 50th anniversary of Frank's death in a concentration camp, will not be used in the future, said James Allen, director of instruction for the 7,600-student system.OK, here's our question. If this guy is the director of instruction in a district that can't even handle Anne Frank, why do they need a director of instruction? Seems like someone from the substitute bus driver's pool could handle the job. Save the district some money too. Just trying to help.
Culpeper's policy on "public complaints about learning resources" calls for complaints to be submitted in writing and for a review committee to research the materials and deliberate, Allen said. In this case, the policy was not followed. Allen said the parent registered the complaint orally, no review committee was created and a decision was made quickly by at least one school administrator.We understand a newspaper reporter had tried to interview the administrator about the decision, but there had been a thunderstorm that morning and the administrator was still hiding under the bed.
The American Library Association has documented only six challenges to "The Diary of Anne Frank" since it began monitoring formal written complaints to remove or restrict books in 1990.Six times in 20 years? Man, can you imagine what the guy who read us The Miller's
Tale could do in a district like this?
One record dating to 1983 from an Alabama textbook committee said the book was "a real downer" and called for its rejection from schools.Yeah. Them Nazis sure knew how to take the fun out of a war.