This month, a school board in Tennessee voted unanimously to ban “Maus,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, from being taught in its classrooms because it contains material Board members consider unsuitable for the student.
According to the minutes of the meeting, the 10-person board, of McMinn County, Tenn., voted on January 10 to remove the book from the eighth-grade curriculum. Members of the board said the book, depicts Jews as rats and Nazis as cats in recounting the author’s parents’ experiences during the Holocaust, contains inappropriate curse words and depicts a nude character.
“There is some rough, offensive language in this book,” said Lee Parkison, school superintendent for McMinn County, east Tennessee, in the minutes of the meeting.
Art Spiegelman, author of “Maus,” told CNBC that he was “confused” by the decision.
“It left me gasping for breath, like, ‘What?’ he said in the interview Wednesday, the day before Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Mr. Spiegelman published the first volume of the book in 1986, and the second volume in 1991, and the graphic novel received a special Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Mr. Spiegelman’s parents survived Auschwitz; his mother died by suicide when he was 20 years old
The board vote was reported by a local newspaper, Tennessee Holler, on Wednesday. The decision was made when the Anti-Defamation League and others had warning about the recent increase in anti-epidemic casesand amid a broader movement to ban books that mention certain ideas about race, as well as issues related to gender and LGBTQ.
In Virginia, the Spotsylvania County School Board last year voted unanimously to remove books with “pornographic” material from school library shelves. In York County, Pa., teachers and students demonstrate against and subversion ban a selection of books told from the perspective of gay, black, and Latino children. And Republican lawmakers in Texas have motivated to reframe the lessons of history and reduce references to slavery and anti-Mexican anti-discrimination.
During the McMinn County board discussion on “Maus,” many board members discussed reducing profanity or saying they had no objection to Holocaust history teaching. One of the board members, Mike Cochran, said he opposes language and depictions of nudity.
“We don’t need these to teach history to children,” he said, according to the minutes. “We can teach them history and we can teach them graphic history. We can tell them exactly what happened, but we don’t need all the nudity and all that.”
Cochran and other board members did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.
Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee and the state’s first Jewish congressman, said on Thursday that censoring books about the Holocaust, either about slavery and holocaust or other another act of atrocities, is a way of erasing one’s understanding of the horrors of what humanity can do.
“It’s sad to see this happening all over the country, and when it comes to censoring so easily to reach children and teach them about the Holocaust, it’s special,” Cohen said in an interview. worrying.
The Holocaust Museum of America said in a statement on Twitter that using books like “Maus” to teach students about the Holocaust can inspire students to “think critically about the past as well as the role it plays.” their own roles and responsibilities today.”
It is unclear which book will replace “Maus” in the curriculum. At one point during a board meeting, one of the members, Rob Shamblin, asked what other books the school would ban if it banned this one based on vulgar language. Classics on elementary students’ reading lists, such as “Bridge to Terabithia,” “The Whipping Boy,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” also include vulgar language, said a school principal. said.
“That’s on another topic for another day,” said the president, Sharon Brown.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/27/us/maus-banned-holocaust-tennessee.html Holocaust novel ‘Maus’ was removed from the classroom by the school administration