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August 17, 2022 2:01 pm

Anne Frank’s Diary Banned from Texas School Library

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Photos of Anne Frank are seen at the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam. Photo: Reuters/Eva Plevier

A Texas school district in the suburbs of Fort Worth has pulled a graphic comic based on Anne Frank’s diary from its libraries.

The news, first broken by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, comes out of the Keller Independent School District (KISD), where parents have been fighting to purge schools of material perceived as promoting LGBT themes and critical race theory. JTA noted that books about Jewish history, particularly the Holocaust, have been caught in the fray of such efforts before.

According to a local outlet, prior to the decision, a KISD committee reviewed a list of dozens of books that parents and community members had challenged, including the Bible. That and Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, were deemed appropriate for students, but recently, the district’s executive director for curriculum and instruction, Jennifer Price, ordered the removal of all books which were originally in dispute.

“By the end of the day, I need all books pulled from the library and classrooms,” Price wrote to schools across the district.

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Laney Hawes, a parent of four children in the Keller district, said she suspects that Anne Frank’s diary became a point of contention because of reports that its unedited edition contains passages in which Frank discussed feeling sexually attracted to women.

The parent who had complained about the book, Hawes continued, argued that it “shouldn’t be read without parent supervision.”

“It’s disgusting. It’s devastating. It’s legitimate book banning, there’s no way around it,” she told JTA. “I feel bad for the teachers and the librarians.”

Jonathan Friedman of PEN America, a nonprofit that aims to safeguard human rights by defending free expression and in speech in literature, called KISD’s order an “affront to students’ First Amendment rights.”

“It is virtually impossible to run a school or a library that purges books in response to any complaint from any corner,” Friedman said in a statement.

Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus is another Holocaust themed book that has been banned from public schools.

In January, the McMinn County School Board in Tennessee voted unanimously not to teach Maus to eight-graders after several school board members objected to its depiction of violence and illustrations of nude women.

Spiegelman later told CNBC that he was “baffled” by the decision and argued that it was “Orwellian.”

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