Tennessee school board removes ‘adult’ Holocaust graphic novel
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A Tennessee school board has voted to remove the graphic novel “Maus” from an eighth-grade language arts curriculum over concerns that the book’s profanity, nudity, violence, and suicide make the book “too adult oriented” for school. The book’s author condemned the decision as “Orwellian,” but a rabbi defended the decision in comments to Fox News Digital.
“The McMinn County School Board has voted to remove the graphic novel Maus from McMinn County schools due to its unnecessary use of profanity and nudity and its depiction of violence and suicide,” the school board explained. in a press release. “Overall, the Council felt that this work was just too adult-focused to be used in our schools.”
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“We do not diminish the value of Maus as a powerful and meaningful work of literature, nor do we dispute the importance of teaching our children the historical and moral lessons and realities of the Holocaust,” said added the tip. “Rather, we asked our trustees to find other works that accomplish the same educational goals in a more age-appropriate way.”
“The atrocities of the Holocaust were shameful beyond description, and we all have an obligation to ensure that younger generations learn of its horrors to ensure that such an event never happens again,” added the board.
Art Spiegelman, the book’s author, called the school board’s decision “Orwellian” in comments to CNBC.
“I’m a bit confused by that,” Spiegelman said. He suspected that the school board was less motivated by a few light swear words and more by the subject of the book, which tells the story of his Jewish parents in Nazi concentration camps, the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis, the suicide of his mother when he was 20 and his relationship with his father.
“Maus” portrays different groups of people as different types of animals: Jews are mice, Poles are pigs, and Nazi Germans are cats.
“I also understand that Tennessee is obviously crazy,” Spiegelman added. “Something very, very whack is going on there.”
Author Neil Gaiman attacked the school board, write on twitter“There’s only one type of people who would vote to ban Maus, whatever they call themselves these days.”
Still, Rabbi Yaakov Menken, executive director of the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), defended the school board’s action in comments to Fox News Digital.
“I haven’t read Maus, but not all books are suitable for all age groups, and it’s inappropriate to claim that the school board doesn’t want to provide Holocaust education because they don’t want to not from any particular book,” Menken said.
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The move comes amid debates over the suitability of certain books in schools. Parents voiced concerns critical race theory (CRT) – a framework that involves deconstructing aspects of society to uncover systemic racism beneath the surface – infiltrating schools, and many have protested books such as “Lawn Boy”, which includes photos of sex acts between a boy and a man, at school libraries.
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