Michigan School Refuses to Remove Definitive Version of Anne Frank's Diary From Curriculum

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Bid to censor Anne Frank's 'pornographic' diary fails

As we previously reported, a mother in Michigan lodged a complaint with her local school district when her daughter showed her passages in the "definitive" version of Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl, which made her “uncomfortable”. This led to Gail Horalek asking for the title to be removed from the curriculum as it was “pretty pornographic for seventh-grade boys and girls to be reading”. This bid has failed.

The “definitive” edition of the diary includes material originally deleted by her father, Otto Frank, from the 1947 version. One of her cousins, Buddy Elias, thinks the material shows how normal she was, albeit with a talent for writing, “not as a saint, but as a girl like every other girl”.

The committee that makes these decisions has ruled: “that the title's removal would effectively impose situational censorship”.

"The committee felt strongly that a decision to remove the use of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl – The Definitive Edition as a choice within this larger unit of study would effectively impose situational censorship by eliminating the opportunity for the deeper study afforded by this edition," wrote assistant superintendent Robert Behnke in a letter to the community.

I understand Horalek’s concerns, but I think the committee made the right decision, don’t you? Once we start down the censorship road I don’t know where we’d stop…

Image of The Diary of a Young Girl (Imprint Books)
Author: Anne Frank
Price: $19.33
Publisher: Pearson Education Ltd (1989)
Binding: Paperback, 256 pages
Dean Fetzer

News by Dean Fetzer

Dean Fetzer is originally from a small town in eastern Colorado, but has lived in London, England, for the past 21 years. After a career in graphic design, he started a pub review website in the late 90’s; He left that in 2011 to concentrate on his thriller writing, as well as offering publishing services for authors, poets and artists. When not writing - or in the pub - he can be found in the theatre, live music venues and travelling.

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Comments

Jason C's picture
Jason C from Quad Cities, Iowa is reading Growing Up Dead In Texas by Stephen Graham Jones May 16, 2013 - 12:09pm

If she doesn't like it, she should send her kid to a private school.

SammyB's picture
SammyB from Las Vegas is reading currently too many to list May 16, 2013 - 9:45pm

So glad they didn't remove it. As a teacher, I would have fought tooth and nail to keep this one.