Since being published in the Netherlands in 1947, "The Diary of Anne Frank" has become a staple in American classrooms. But that may be changing for students at Northville school district in Michigan, where a parent claims a version of the book is "pornographic" and too explicit for some middle school students.
Last week, Gail Horalek filed a formal complaint with the district, alleging that "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (The Definitive Edition)" is an inappropriate version of the real-life tale of a Jewish family hiding from Nazis during the Holocaust, according to Patch Northville (which, like The Huffington Post, is owned by Aol).
Speaking with Detroit-based Fox 2 News, Horalek objects to passages in the diary's unedited version that describe Anne Frank exploring her own anatomy -- passages that Horalek says made her daughter uncomfortable.
"It's pretty graphic, and it's pretty pornographic for seventh-grade boys and girls to be reading," Horalek told Fox 2. "It's inappropriate for a teacher to be giving this material out to the kids when its really the parents' job to give the students this information."
The unedited version of Anne Frank's diary is a part of the seventh-grade language arts curriculum at Meads Mill Middle School, where Horalek's daughter attends, according to Patch Northville.
Robert Behnke, assistant superintendent for Instructional Services for Northville Public Schools told Patch the district is following procedure regarding the complaint.
Horalek maintains that the school should have asked before assigning the book, according to a follow-up story in Patch.
"If they watch any kind of movie with a swear word in it, I have to sign a permission slip," she said. "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."
In 2010, a Virginia school district quietly decided to stop using the "Definitive Edition" in eighth-grade classrooms after a parent complained, according to The Washington Post. Culpeper County Public Schools director of instruction said at the time that district's teachers would use an edited version in the classroom.
The Nation reports that the complaint in Culpeper had to do with a passage in which Anne describes her vagina. However, The Nation also noted that "The Diary of Anne Frank" did not make the American Library Association's (ALA) top 10 list for books banned in American schools between 1990 and 1999.
(Hat tip, Gawker)
Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled Culpeper County Public Schools.
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