An enraged Michigan mother is calling Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl – a literary work considered by many scholars to be one of the best books of the 20th century – too inappropriate and “pornographic” for middle school students.
Gail Horalek, of Northville, MI, has filed a formal complaint against her daughter’s school district alleging several passages of the reading are too graphic for seventh graders.
“The problem is the school is giving the seventh graders inappropriate material and not explaining it to the parents,” Horalek told the Northville Patch.
“If they watch any kind of movie with a swear word in it, I have to sign a permission slip,” she said in reference to the school’s policy, which includes sending permission slips home to parents if children are scheduled to read books or view movies that may contain inappropriate material.
The unedited version of the diary, which was first published in 1996, includes several passages during which Frank writes about the discovery of her genitalia in some detail – an area Horalek described as “pornographic” in nature.
She said she only became aware of the book’s sexual passages after her daughter confessed the reading made her uncomfortable. According to Horlaek, many other parents were also unaware of the passages.
Although Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl has often been a mandatory source of reading for students across the country – and world – the Minnesota mother is now calling for the books removal from her daughter’s middle school.
“It doesn’t mean my child is sheltered, it doesn’t mean I live in a bubble and it doesn’t mean I’m trying to ban books,” she said. “She just thinks that such graphic details aren’t necessary to grasp the devastation of the holocaust.”
This isn’t the first time Anne Frank’s diary has raised controversy. In 2010, Culpeper County public school in Virginia stopped assigning the uncensored version of the tome due to extra passages that detail Frank’s own emerging sexual desires and “unflattering descriptions of her mother and other people living together.”