A Texas high school teacher was fired and asked to apologize last week after she assigned her eighth-grade students to read an explicit passage from the illustrated adaptation of “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Girl.”
The Hamshire-Fannett Independent School District let the educator go Wednesday after the “unapproved” book text was read during class, KFDM reported.
The passage in question was a diary entry from Frank, a Jewish teenager who documented her years hiding from the Nazis in an attic in the German-occupied Netherlands, in which she wrote about male and female genitalia, according to the revised text. on the local CBS affiliate. season.
The entry, written by Frank in the early 1940s when he was about the same age as eighth graders, had been removed from earlier versions of his diary widely used in Holocaust history lessons for decades.
But the comic book version of the book “The Diary of Anne Frank: The Graphic Adaptation,” adapted by Ari Folman, the son of Holocaust survivors, and published in 2018, includes the extract about sexuality.
The mother of twin brothers in the eighth grade class told the station that her children came home and said their teacher had the students read the sexually explicit passage out loud.
“I mean, it’s bad enough, he makes them read this for an assignment, but then he also makes them read it out loud and he makes a little girl talk about feeling each other’s breasts and when he sees a woman he goes into ecstasy. , that’s not OK,” Amy Manuel said.
The school district sent an email to parents Tuesday night indicating the teacher would apologize for assigning the book.
“Tonight the administration was informed that eighth grade students were reading content that was not appropriate,” the email said, according to KFDM. “Reading of that content will cease immediately. Her student’s teacher will communicate her apology to you and her students soon, just as she has expressed to us.”
The unabridged, illustrated version of the Diary of Anne Frank was on a reading list sent to parents at the beginning of the school year, but district officials said it was never approved, the station reported. The district has since launched an investigation into the disparity.
A substitute teacher has been leading the reading class since last Wednesday, the school district said.
“The district is currently in the process of appointing a high-quality, full-time teacher as quickly as possible,” the district said.
The graphic novel adaptation of the landmark book has created controversy in schools before, including in the Keller Independent School District of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, where it was removed from library shelves last year.