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A Florida School Just Banned ‘Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation’ from their High School Library
Indian River County Florida is a county that voted 60.2% Republican and 38.7% Democrat in the past election. Their voting base is made up of a vast majority of Ron Desantis-supporting Republicans, so it may come as no surprise that they have suddenly moved to the forefront of the book-banning controversy.
Republicans, like DeSantis have written and signed off on laws that allow Parents and school boards to remove books from school libraries that they feel are inappropriate. They wrote these laws as a means to, as most Republicans will tell you, “prevent children from reading pornoagraphy in school.” The problem, however, is that Republican parents and school boards are using these laws, likely exactly how the legislature hoped for, to remove books that aren’t even close to being categorized as “pornography.” Today’s news provide yet another shining example.
In a move that has sparked controversy, Vero Beach High School in Indian River County, Florida, has removed a graphic adaptation of "The Diary of Anne Frank,” entitled “Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation: from its library shelves, citing concerns that the book is "not age-appropriate." The decision came after a local chapter of the anti-LGBTQ+ group Moms for Liberty (MOL) complained that the book was "not a true adaptation of the Holocaust" and contained "graphic" and "sexually explicit" illustrations.
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The book was challenged in March by Jennifer Pippin, chair of MOL's Indian River County chapter. Pippin objected to a "graphic scene" in the book in which Frank asks a friend if she would feel comfortable exposing their breasts to one another, only to be refused. No female breasts were actually exposed in the book as her friend declined to do so. Pippin also took issue with a portion of the book in which Frank walks past "sexually explicit" nude female statues (seen above). Although some of the statues' breasts and butts are shown, they are depicted with very little detail.
The idea that high school-aged kids haven’t ever seen nude statues in museums or history books, is outrageous. These were merely vaguely drawn comic-book figures of nude statues.
The original diary, published in 1947, features an entry from January 6, 1944, in which a 14-year-old Frank writes about asking a friend if she wants to show each other their bodies, as well as her desire to kiss her friend and her feelings upon seeing photos of nude statues in an art history book.
The decision to remove the book has drawn criticism from those who argue that it is an important work that sheds light on a dark chapter in history. Some have also pointed out that the objections raised by MOL appear to be rooted in homophobia rather than concerns about the book's content. For those who have not read the original diary of Anne Frank, it should be noted that it includes a passage in which Frank expresses a desire to kiss her female friend.