Skip to comments.School system in Va. won't teach version of Anne Frank book
Posted on 01/28/2010 8:29:57 PM PST by ozguy
Culpeper County public school officials have decided to stop assigning a version of Anne Frank's diary, one of the most enduring symbols of the atrocities of the Nazi regime, after a parent complained that the book includes sexually explicit material and homosexual themes.
"The Diary of a Young Girl: the Definitive Edition," which was published on the 50th anniversary of Frank's death in a concentration camp, will not be used in the future, said James Allen, director of instruction for the 7,600-student system. The school system did not follow its own policy for handling complaints about instructional materials, Allen said.
The diary documents the daily life of a Jewish girl in Amsterdam during World War II. Frank started writing on her 13th birthday, shortly before her family went into hiding in an annex of an office building. The version of the diary in question includes passages previously excluded from the widely read original edition, first published in Dutch in 1947. That book was arranged by her father, the only survivor in her immediate family. Some of the extra passages detail her emerging sexual desires; others include unflattering descriptions of her mother and other people living together.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
“..parent complained that the book includes sexually explicit material and homosexual themes..”
Good for the parent.
Anne’s father did not want this version published and I think we should respect his wishes. I had my children read the older version which I had read in high school.
Why assign that book anyway when they assign so few books, this is much more appropriate and helpful to American students and our national culture.
Have you read The Diary of Ann Frank?
And just why did they feel the need to utilize something other than the original version of the book that didn't include these passages? The point of the book isn't sexuality but living under totalitarianism, bravery and the costs of doing what is right.
I read the original version in grade school, probably fifth or six grade, and found it very moving. Why mess it up with controversial passages.
It seems likely that someone decided saw an opportunity to sneak homosexuality into school reading material and did so.
The point of the book was that Anne wanted to record her thoughts. She did a partial revision herself with a view to publication after the war, including the redacted parts. Others have created their own polemics with it.
It seems odd that what a normal 13-year-old writes can be seen as unfit to read by other 13-year-olds until it says what other people want it to say. If all you want is ideology, you might as well write a work of fiction yourself.
Anne was in the process of editing it herself for publication after the war. What about her wishes? No, it is all about ideology. Anne was writing personally, not writing a political tract.
You're correct, her point of writing was to record her thoughts. When I said point of book I meant the reason it was originally included in school curricula.
A parent knows his or her child better than any committee. If a parent feels that it is inappropriate, then it likely is! So?....Instead of these matters being handled **privately** by **private** agreement between a parent and a **private** school teacher and principal, we have "committees" deciding what will be appropriate for the state's children.
Fundamentally, at its core government schools, the First Amendment and freedom of conscience are utterly incompatible.
The government must make a binary decision. It includes the book or excludes it. Regardless of the decision the government will trample the freedom of conscience of some of the parents and students, and likely the taxpayers who are under police threat to pay for it.
Ping to you for homeschooling.
How in the world did she manage to edit her diary after the war when she died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp a month before the camp was liberated????
Why should the diary of a 13 year old Jewish girl living in hiding in Nazi Germany need to be censored? Are our children really supposed to think that this 13 year old had no thoughts about sexuality and her changing body that she would have written in her diary? The censored version was published at her father’s direction during his lifetime, and while other people who had personally known Anne and other people she wrote about were still alive. It was reasonable to withhold material which would have caused embarrassment or discomfort or pain to still-living people (including the father himself, who would have found it painful to know people were reading Anne’s criticisms of her mother, after her mother had died in the concentraion camp), but that’s no longer the case, which is why the Anne Frank Foundation decided to published the unabridged version decades later.
It’s not like she was writing about her adventures with a vibrator or her fantasies about going to a lesbian bar and having sex with a woman she met there. Censoring normal healthy 13-year-old sexuality out of this historical diary is no more defensible than censoring religion out of US history text books. Both are intellectually dishonest.
Exactly. Getting rid of government schools ought to be one of the top objectives of Constitutional conservatives, but instead we hardly hear a peep about it -- just stupid debates about what should or shouldn't be included in the government schools' curriculum. While I think there's good reason to ask taxpayers to pay for basic education for all children, to around the eighth grade level (lest we end up with hordes of adults who can't read or do basic arithmetic), there's no reason this should be done through government schools. The money should follow the child, and plenty of schools will open up to take the money and fill the need, and should also be available to homeschooling parents and other people who school a handful of children in their own homes. No doubt some of these schools will be sketchy, but it's unlikely that nearly as many children would end up in sketchy schools as currently in totally dysfunctional government schools where even the teachers can barely read or do basic arithmetic. Basic standards could be maintained by requiring annual testing of the very basics, non-controversial stuff like reading, math, and science (plenty in that last category that is non-controversial), and paying the money only *after* the children it's attached to have taken the test and shown a minimum level of progress from the previous year.
And there is *zero* reason for taxpayers to be paying for the huge array of sports, music, drama, etc that have become standard in public schools. These things are all fine and good, but they should be organized and funded voluntarily by private citizens working together, and by churches and other private organizations, and not be a built-in part of taxpayer-funded education.
Firstly, she wasn't in Nazi Germany, she lived in the Netherlands. Secondly, I wasn't talking about censoring, I'm talking about using the original, unaltered version that's been out forever. You tell me, why take a book that has been out forever and change it to include homosexuality? Why do you think the version that her father released was so bad it had to be discarded?
She was editing before the war ended, for *publication* after the war ended.
That is correct. Anne Frank wrote her diary with the express purpose of publishing the book after the war was over.
I went on a tour of the "Anne Frank House" in Amsterdam many years ago and was surprised to learn that there were dozens, if not hundreds, of people who wrote "diaries" during the war in the hopes of publishing, and cashing in on their experiences.
The reason why the world knows about the Anne Frank Diary is because it was the best written of the bunch.