A Tennessee school board bans Holocaust graphic novel


Emma Minnick, Editor

Recently, the McMinn County School Board of Tennessee announced that they would be pulling the graphic novel “Maus” from school shelves. The school board cited profanity and nudity as reasoning for the banning. The book, by Art Spiegelman, tells the story of a Holocaust survivor through the lens of a “cat and mouse” chase. The Nazis are the cats in this allegory, while Jewish victims are the mice. This decision caused quite a bit of controversy because it took place as people were preparing to celebrate Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Spiegelman says,“It’s leaving me with my jaw open, like, ‘What?’” He called the decision “Orwellian” and discussed how many people have expressed the significance of “Maus” to him. In response, the school district said, “We do not diminish the value of Maus as an impactful and meaningful piece of literature, nor do we dispute the importance of teaching our children the historical and moral lessons and realities of the Holocaust.”

The decision has been slammed by authors, politicians, educators, and parents. However, supporters of the decision have used it to endorse the bans of other books. One Texan parent advocated for the banning of a Michelle Obama biography on the grounds of “racism against White Americans.”

Book banning has been a controversial topic since the days of “Fahrenheit 451,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and even “The Wizard of Oz.” The question now is, how far is too far? Should schools censor sensitive material from their students? The answer may be a long time coming.