Making headlines is the story of one Michigan mother, Gail Horalek who has taken exception to her daughter’s school’s decision to issue the unedited version of the ‘Diary of Anne Frank,’ as part of its syllabus. Her contention? It’s too pornographic.
Told Gail Horalek via local media outlet patch: “The problem is the school is giving the seventh graders inappropriate material and not explaining it to the parents.”
Upsetting Gaill Horalek in particular is one passage in the book which in her estimation is simply too graphic and unbecoming in relation to Holocaust victims as well as her daughter’s good sense of decorum, who coincidentally was roughly the same age when Anne Frank first penned her thoughts. Which is to say perhaps what we are about to read together in a moment is something that Gail Horalek’s daughter has been vividly contemplating as well.
And the offending page in full:
Until I was eleven or twelve, I didn’t realize there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn’t see them. What’s even funnier is that I thought urine came out of the clitoris…When you’re standing up, all you see from the front is hair. Between your legs there are two soft, cushiony things, also covered with hair, which press together when you’re standing, so you can’t see what’s inside. They separate when you sit down and they’re very red and quite fleshy on the inside. In the upper part, between the outer labia, there’s a fold of skin that, on second thought, looks like a kind of blister. That’s the clitoris.
Hmm. Did someone mention the word clitoris? But then again maybe 13/14 year old girls don’t get things like that until the 9th grade or even the 12th grade in special circumstances.
Goes on to tell gawker: Horalek is demanding that the school go back to teaching from the older, edited version of the book that doesn’t include the uncomfortable passages.
Northville Schools’ Assistant Superintendent Robert Behnke responded to Horalek’s petition with a statement suggesting that a committee will be assembled at a date to be determined to review her concerns.
And then there were these comments on the web that made me wonder as well:
“The problem is the school is giving the seventh graders inappropriate material and not explaining it to the parents,”
I too fault the schools for not instantly assuming someone in the community would be a brittle, reactionary neurotic who’s bowels turn liquid at the very thought of a candid and honest examination of one’s fundamental humanity within the context of the greatest dehumanizing pogrom in human history.
For shame, educators. For-fucking-shame.
I am disturbed by modern parenting. To hear of it, the monsters hiding under a kid’s bed are sex and profanity. Isn’t the world frightening enough without inventing reasons to be scared? The Diary of Anne Frank illustrates that well enough: violence, bigotry, power-mad dictators. All those things still exist, and the little children who have to experience it, too. So why are we so hung up on words? It’s a warped world we’re showing them. No wonder most Americans seem trapped in eternal childhood.
Are you kidding? This is ridiculous. Anne Frank is a book that EVERYONE reads..I’m a male and I read it in middle school, can’t remember ever having a problem with it. This mom needs to get over it; these kids are going to learn what those things are in one way or another, why not do it in a setting where they can be educated about it? Or you can just choose to ignore things when they start to get uncomfortable…cause that always works, too.