Tennessee School Board Pulls Maus From Eighth-Grade Curriculum

Art Spiegelman’s controversial and iconic graphic memoir is now legendary MausIn a unanimous decision of the McMinn County Board of Education, the school’s McMinn County curriculum was removed.

This week was Holocaust Remembrance Day and it seemed like an odd coincidence that news broke this week. Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book has had a huge cultural impact. It also features a lot of reader friendliness. the, The primary vehicle for such remembrance in pop music over the last few decades. Spiegelman’s father and mother were Auschwitz survivors. Maus portrays him learning his parents’ Holocaust experiences and retelling them—in a riff on classic animal-comics tropes—with Jews as mice and Nazis as cats.

According to the minutes from their meeting, McMinn County officials analyzed the issue in a way that speaks volumes about the school’s approach to serious historical and artistic issues.

Eighth graders were being instructed the book as part of an unit about Holocaust. A few attendees objected at the meeting to the book’s “rough, objectionable” language. They initially requested to remove “eight curse terms” and “one graphic image”. Tony Allman of the board seemed to think that children should not be exposed to the Holocaust horrors. We don’t have to encourage or enable this stuff in schools. He argued in the McMinn County Centre for Educational Excellence that it showed people hanging and it showed them killing children.

Allman raised some questions about Spiegelman’s life, such as his career and suspicion of the “creator” who did the graphics. Playboy. It’s possible to see his past. And we are allowing him graphics for the elementary school students. It wouldn’t happen if I had an eighth-grade kid. This would not happen if I needed to take him home and either homeschool or place him elsewhere.

Steven Brady was another board member. Maus is an important part of the eighth-grade curriculum: “Next year in high school, they are going to jump in the deep end on World War II….The thinking here is, here is the best place to give them a little introduction to the Holocaust and things that went on during World War II.” MausHe said that “anchor text” refers to a collection of stories about survivors, news, and other materials. To address any concerns we might have, we made sure to prepare a parental letter that would inform parents about this subject we were going to be studying. That explicit content was censored, so we made certain that every book in our library is stamped “property” by MCS.

Jonathan Pierce, a board member, moved this MausBe removed from the curriculum.The book’s words are in conflict with some of our policies. The school would take disciplinary action against any child who says on the school bus, “I was going to murder you.” This absurd argument shows that there is no understanding about the importance of historical storytelling.

Lee Parkison, a teacher at the meeting, pointed out that MausAlthough the McMinn County concerns about the one image and eight words that were included in the approved text, the Tennessee state-level schools had the option to use the images. The offensive image was not specifically identified in the minutes of the meeting, but it was probably a very vague and easy-to-miss drawing in a story-within-the-story of his human mother’s topless dead body in a tub after she killed herself. Another possible target? Male cartoon mice seen nude in a death camp shower. The eight forbidden words were not identified in the discussion, but it was mentioned “bitch” as well as “goddamn”. Although I saw a “goddamn”, and an “hell,” while thumbing through the book today, it isn’t filled with harsh language that could shock an early teenager.

Mike Cochran was a Board Member. He felt the Holocaust Education should be mixed with MausThe depiction by Cochran of Spiegelman’s mother’s suicide years after she had gone through camp, as well as the harsh language directed at his survivor father was unnecessary for schoolchildren. Cochran pointed out two non-essential facts.MausExamples from his school curriculum include a poem about kisses, ecstasy, and a painting showing a naked man riding on a bull. This supports his claim that the entire curriculum was designed to normalize sexuality and nudity and vulgar language. This is what I would use to teach my children. The kids absorb it. Parents don’t notice it. We need to look at all of the curriculum.

A number of board members believed that changing the work to suit their tastes might cause copyright issues. This non-lawyer is not sure they are correct in assuming that a redacted-to-their-tastes version of Maus You would violate the law.

Although the board maintains that it does not oppose teaching about the Holocaust, one of its members admitted that they could not find an acceptable substitute for the Holocaust module. Maus“It would likely mean that we would need to move on with another module,” he said.

U.S. The Holocaust Museum told The Washington PostThat MausThe detailed stories of Holocaust victims have been a vital part in teaching students about the Holocaust. Spiegelman himself told CNBC that “I’ve met so many young people who…have learned things from my book” and that something “very, very haywire” is happening in Tennessee.

Spiegelman’s efforts in cultural ambassadorship for comics are the reason that comic-length books have been accepted into educational curricula. My forthcoming book will discuss Spiegelman’s life and influence in detail. Dirty Pictures(A history of underground comics and their creators. Comics were dismissed by schools as childish, inconsequential frippery. MausSome schools have dismissed it because it is too closely tied to the past of his parents. The school board considered that violence depicted in works should be viewed as threatening violence. It also gave its unanimity to the sides offering these arguments. This is a sad sign of how the public education bureaucrats think.