Tennessee School District Voted To Ban Pulitzer Prize-Winning ‘Maus’
A Tennessee school district voted unanimously to remove Pultizer Prize-winning Maus, a graphic novel about the Holocaust in a continuation of a wave of book bans in public schools.
The board cited profanity and nudity as reasons the book has been removed from the eighth-grade language arts curriculum.
Maus author Art Spiegelman told CNBC the move was “Orwellian.”
The graphic novel is an account of Spiegelman’s Jewish father’s experience in the Holocaust. One board member, Tony Allman, was quoted as saying “It shows people hanging, it shows them killing kids, why does the educational system promote this kind of stuff, it is not wise or healthy.”
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Julie Goodwin, an assistant principal, argued that the Holocaust was not pretty and that Maus is an important depiction of the tragedies that occurred. In the end, all members voted to get rid of the book.
“What has taken us back this year is the intensity with which school libraries are under attack,” said Nora Pelizzari, a spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Censorship. “[T]his feels like a more overarching attempt to purge schools of materials that people disagree with. It feels different than what we’ve seen in recent years.”
Book banning isn’t just happening in Tennesee. Florida lawmakers passed a slew of bills to make it easier to challenge academic content in public schools. Many of the books that have come off the shelves have dealt with LGBTQ and race topics.
Different counties have come to different regulations. Some of them have removed books, but others like Flagler County, have left the decision to parents saying that parents should only be able to control what their own children read.
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