The Culpepper County Public Schools has become the latest addition to the dubious list of schools banning Anne Frank’s ‘Diary of a Young Girl.” The move to pull the books from all of the shelves in the county reportedly came after one parent found a passage to be sexually explicit.
The version of the book pulled from Culpepper schools is “The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition.” This version contains passages that were edited out by Frank’s father, including her criticism of Jews living in the Jewish quarter and some sexual references. The offensive passage is:
There are little folds of skin all over the place, you can hardly find it. The little hole underneath is so terribly small that I simply can’t imagine how a man can get in there, let alone how a whole baby can get out!
The book was assigned to eighth graders.
It is astonishing that a single parent can prompt a classic book to be pulled from shelves.
Jim Allen, director of instruction for the school system, views the whole matter as a wonderful reaffirmation of parental control: “I’m happy when parents get involved with these things because it lets me know that they are really looking and have their kids’ best interest (in mind). And that’s where good parenting and good teaching comes in.” I am not so sure that I would point to banning a book as good parenting and good teaching.
These students are about to go to high school and are exposed to far more explicit references in their daily lives. Anyone who views The Diary of a Young Girl as soft porn is missing the point when you dig through all of the Holocaust material to find the reference to a feminine body part.
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